I first want to point out that only a small percentage of employees in the District’s workforce were fired, but still 90 employees were fired after a three year investigation revealed they cashed unemployment checks between a few hundred and $20,000 while they were employed by the district.
From the Washington Post.
In all, the city estimates it has paid out as much as $800,000 in unemployment benefits to working city employees since 2009. …
Monday’s action, which follows at least three years of scrutiny from local and federal authorities, represents an unusually broad crackdown on corruption in the District government workforce. The volume of benefits claims has soared alongside the District’s jobless rate, and investigators have taken an increasing interest in how the unemployment program guards against fraud.
D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby and Attorney General Irvin B. Nathan are involved in the investigation, and authorities anticipate referring at least some cases to federal prosecutors for criminal action. Mallory, whose office continues to review cases, also said she has worked with the U.S. Department of Labor to prevent this type of fraud.
Employees accused of wrongdoing worked in various arms of the District government, including the public schools and the D.C. Council staff, according to a high-ranking official to Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) who was not allowed to speak publicly on the investigation.
Let’s watch to see if even one employee is brought up on criminal charges. Sighting privacy concerns, not one name was released to the public.
Exit question: If you’re working for the government and therefore your salary is coming from the public, should you be held to a higher standard? Should every employee who intentionally cashed checks while at the same time getting a government salary be brought up on criminal charges?