Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Sun: Who’s keeping eye on city workers, councillor asks

Employee on jury duty break didn’t return to work.


March 7, 2016
Maryam Shah
Toronto Sun


Josh Matlow

Councillor Josh Matlow. Photo: tan Behal/Toronto Sun files


TORONTO – A city councillor says he’s baffled by how a city employee was able to miss work for 44 days during a break in jury duty before being fired.


“It seems like people can disappear around here and there’s no accountability for where they went and when they’re coming back,” Councillor Josh Matlow said Monday.


The bizarre disappearing act was an example in the auditor general’s 2015 fraud and waste hotline report of how city employees abused working hours.


After discussing the report on Monday, members of the city’s audit committee asked Toronto officials to provide more information at their next meeting in June.


The auditor’s report noted an employee didn’t return to work while their jury duty was on a weeks-long recess. An investigation discovered the worker claimed jury duty for 44 unaccounted days during a court recess, costing the city around $11,000.


In another case, a worker was terminated after the city found falsified time logs, resulting in more than 800 hours of time theft at a cost of around $40,000.


“It makes me wonder, has their manager shown up for work?” Matlow said, baffled. “Because somebody’s dropped the ball, that’s what I want to explore. I want to know who those managers are.”


Councillor Frances Nunziata said the most glaring incident in the auditor general’s report concerns an ongoing TTC benefits probe — an alleged scam that could involve up to 600 TTC workers and has already led to a dozen dismissals.


“In my opinion, this is very serious,” Nunziata noted during the meeting.


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