OIG Review of Mileage Use in the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention Bureau

In 2011 OIG completed an investigation into mileage reimbursement claims in the Fire Prevention Bureau (FPB). In short, OIG found that in 2009 – just a one-year snapshot of what many in CFD volunteered has been a decades-long practice – 54 FPB inspectors and supervisors conservatively stole approximately $100,000 taxpayer dollars by filing false certifications for mileage reimbursement.

As detailed in the report, OIG recommended the termination of these 54 employees and also made a number of program recommendations respecting the City’s fire prevention inspection function based on information and analysis developed through the investigation. Following CFD’s response to the investigation, OIG made two additional recommendations.

First, OIG recommended the Administration issue an executive order that establishes theft of City funds or property as a ‘per se’ terminable offense for all City employees without regard to the knowledge, acquiescence, encouragement or involvement of supervisory personnel, and requires City employees who have knowledge of City employees, including supervisory personnel, engaging in such theft to report it to OIG.

Second, given that the inspectors who were the subject of investigation have a formal record of theft and dishonesty, OIG recommends that CFD create a method of alerting prosecutors, judges and attorneys to this investigation’s findings should any of the inspectors be required to provide testimony in criminal, civil, and or administrative proceedings.