Taxpayers Shell Out Big Bucks In City Overtime
Watchdog 10 discovered that some city departments are paying employees as much or more than their regular salary just in overtime.
Though overtime payments in 2012 decreased from $29 million in 2011 to $25 million in 2012, documents also show big payments to certain city workers.
Data shows that police and fire officials are the biggest earners when it comes to overtime payouts.
A 911 call supervisor made $55,000 in regular pay last year and another $89,000 in overtime, for a total of $144,666.
That total was within a few thousand dollars of what Columbus Division of Police Chief Kim Jacobs makes to run the entire department, Watchdog 10 uncovered.
Several other communication technicians made similar amounts.
City officials justified the payments by saying that the positions are hard to fill.
On the streets, one police officer earned $69,000 in regular pay and another $51,000 in overtime, for a total of $120,000.
A sergeant started at $81,000 and then earned another $44,600 in overtime, for a total of $126,000.
Some Columbus resident said that they were surprised by the numbers.
“It seems like good money for them, but it’s not a good use of our tax dollars,” said one person Watchdog 10 spoke with.
Watchdog 10 went to the Columbus Department of Public Safety looking for answers.
Daniel Giangardella, the deputy director of the department, said that his department came in under its overtime budget last year.
“We are a 24-7 operation,” Giangardella said. “Part of being in public safety is the fact you’re going to have overtime.”
The deputy director said he has already cut millions of dollars in overtime by automating certain aspects of 911.
He said that he still is working on other ways to keep cutting costs in that area.