At central Ohio’s iconic news leader, the year started with a new vision for sniffing out wasted tax dollars.
The trail started at an auction for state autos. Watchdog 10 found out they were selling off cars, even though the cars were in good shape with low mileage—making a great deal for car dealers and a raw deal for taxpayers.
Then, Watchdog 10 found taxpayers were picking up the tab for an out-of-control cell phone program for the poor. Watchdog 10 discovered gaps in the system that allowed cheaters to get multiple free phones.
Watchdog 10 turned up a federal government audit that showed abuse cost taxpayers $33 million in one year alone. Later, the federal government announced crackdowns to eliminate waste.
Watchdog 10 questioned city government in Westerville. We found that the city manager was doing business while ringing up pricey tabs at some of the nicer restaurants in town.
A Westerville council member spent tax dollars flying to Phoenix. Ariz. and Opryland, just to get training for the town’s car seat safety program.
In Knox County, Watchdog 10 found a school administrator who also liked to travel. There, the superintendent used the district’s credit card to charge for fancy restaurants, trips and travel to places like China. In all, the expenses were up to $25,000 over two years.
Following Watchdog 10’s investigation, the district cancelled its cards.
Columbus had its fair share of waste too. Watchdog 10 found a city employee who spent his workdays at his favorite donut shop, even though his time card said he was on the job.
After that, the city has launched its own investigation and the worker resigned.
Watchdog 10 is just getting started. Stay with us as we continue to root out more waste in 2013.