What are Tucson leaders doing to stop further worker misconduct?
Lost dollars, lost resources and now - half a dozen employees are about to lose their jobs. So what will stop this from happening again?Photo: Video by kgun9.com
Reporter: Claire Doan
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) – Lost dollars, lost resources and now – half a dozen employees are about to lose their jobs. The city of Tucson plans to fire as many as six people after a nearly yearlong investigation. And it’s only the beginning: more people are expected to get disciplined in the ongoing probe.
But 9 On Your Side wants to know: What is the city doing now to stop this from happening again?
According to city of Tucson spokesman Michael Graham, the city has spent $144,000 of your taxpayer dollars on administrative leave for 6 employees as a result of this investigation.
City staff declined an on-camera interview, saying they will wait until the civil process is finished – that is, after they meet with those employees who have received termination notices.
Councilwoman Regina Romero hopes this investigation sends a strong message.
“When we find out these things are happening – we are going to be very transparent, we are going to act swiftly and we’re going to take care of the situation,” Romero said.
City Manager Richard Miranda said during the press conference that the city has been proactive in making positive changes, including that of leadership – by hiring the new director Daryl Cole.
Other changes include: a restructured division with reassigned supervisors; more staff training; updated equipment inventory; a new time clock system; new equipment tracking devices and a now-secure location for stockpiles.
Councilman Steve Kozachik praised Miranda’s actions, but added that many of those changes are intuitive to the private sector.
Furthermore, he added that the recent allegations don’t bode well for the $100 million bond election to fix roads in November.
“We made changes at the top and appropriately so. This is going to be another nail in the coffin for the Tucson governing body to try and generate credibility, frankly with our taxpayers,” he said.
Only time will tell whether the changes will mean more accountability.
“Are you confident that everything is cleaned up now and that there won’t be any wrongdoing from now on?” 9 On Your Side asked.
“It has nothing to do with new leadership and it has everything to do with eliminating those who work within the city of Tucson who are breaking the public trust,” Romero said.
The city will not release more information for another until after the civil service process.
There is a separate investigation into the engineering division of the Transportation Department. One source told KGUN9 News: It’s related to workers surfing porn with city computers.