Everything But the Oink
Low level pork is a perk
Every month, the supes reimburse City employees for damaged and stolen
personal items. The Controller sometimes reduces the more outrageous
claims, but Mr. Harrington allows most claims to pass through the system
unquestioned. For instance, building inspectors are routinely reimbursed
for buying replacements for expensive trousers torn on protruding nails at
construction sites; and items such as Italian leather shoes, muddied in the
course of duty.
Below are a few of the claims approved by the supes in Nov. 1997. While
the amounts are relatively small compared to the billion or so dollars of
slush in the City's budget, their very existence demonstrates the disregard
in which City government holds our purse.
Tracey Ireland - Physical Therapist
Incident: Shattered rear window. Auto damaged while employee on work
Controller: Approve $500.00 - Limit claim amount to uninsured portion of
SFI: Did Ms. Ireland actually believe that the taxpayer should pay the
whole cost for her broken rear window even though her insurance company
covered the cost, after a $500 deductible? The California False Claims Act
provides for fraudulent claims on public funds to be punished by a year in
State prison and a $10,000 fine.
Patricia Dunson - Parking Control Officer
Incident: Personal items stolen from vehicle while issuing citations.
Claim: $125 - for AM/FM clock radio ($10); 35 mm camera ($100);
Controller: $10. Limit loss to items necessary in performance of duties.
SFI: How far from her vehicle did Ms. Dunson stroll in performance of
her duties? Parking & Traffic Department regulations do not allow officers
to leave their vehicles unattended. Perhaps she was just getting coffee or
Melinda Mills - Director, Probation Services
Incident: Auto tire damaged in Youth Guidance Center Parking lot.
Controller: Approve $94.92. Employee frequently uses auto in performance
of duties and damage occurred through no fault of employee.
SFI: Employees who use their own vehicles are reimbursed regularly at a
mileage rate that covers all wear and tear. There are no City regs that
speak to reimbursement on the basis of an incident being an employee's
"fault" or not.
Heidi Machen - Supes Legislative Assistant
Incident: Bicycle and related items stolen while attending CCSF meeting.
Water bottle & holder 11.00
Electronic speedometer 30.00
Cable, padlock, bell, rear rack 61.00
Controller. Approve. Damage occurred during performance of duties
through no fault of employee.
SFI: Well. If "fault" is to be a factor: perhaps Ms. Machen should have
used her padlock and locked her bike in a secure area. The City Charter
does not provide for subsidizing the careless personal habits of our public
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