Extra Extra : December 2011

Police raking in thousands for questionable overtime

"The call it "piling on": Police officers, looking to pad their paychecks with overtime, add their names to arrest reports and other investigative paperwork, no matter how minor their role. Then, when a case arises in court, they get called to testify - and possibly paid overtime."

The Philadelphia Inquirer has learned that this could have been the case for former Philadelphia Police Lt. Richard Brown. According to Internal Affairs investigators, Brown stretched the truth on paperwork to "rack up nearly $17,000 in court compensation that he wasn't entitled to between 2006 and 2009."

Millions paid to influential chairman

WTC Transportation Hub forgoes fireproofing

"The World Trade Center Transportation Hub is behind schedule and hundreds of millions over budget.

The dual pressure of time and cost-overruns might help explain why the Port Authority has decided to eliminate the fireproofing of the huge above-ground steel structure that 200,000 people will pass under every day." The Transit Hub contract reads that the structure "should exclude the cost of fireproofing or intumescent coating from the structural steel."

However, the head of the Port Authority told ABC 7 Eyewitness News "Of course!" after being asked, "So, it's going to be fireproofed?"

CPS returns child; makes fatal mistake

"Case files from Sacramento County Child Protective Services, recently obtained by The Sacramento Bee show how a two-year old girl died. However, the records do not explain how the agency made the decision to return the child to care that led to her death."

After countless reports of abuse and neglect, including 8 missed doctor's appointments for her heart defect and cleft palate, CPS put the child in foster care. However, just months later, she was returned to her parents, a move that requires CPS to convince a dependency court judge that the conditions that originally made the home ...

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Beer tax money in UT not always used accordingly

"A review by The Salt Lake Tribune has found that perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars of Utah's beer tax money have been diverted to other causes or rolled into everyday city or county activities in.

In some cases, the recipients seemingly stretched the interpretation of the statute to justify how they spent the money. Other municipalities didn’t even try to explain how their purchases comply with the law."

CO teachers union receives millions in subsidies

"Taxpayers in Colorado's largest school districts have spent more than $5.8 million during the past five years to subsidize the activities of local teachers unions.

The expenses resulted from years of agreements that require tax money to pay for everything from full-time union leaders' salaries and benefits to providing leave for some teachers to attend union conferences, a Denver Post analysis of the 20 largest school districts with collective-bargaining contracts found."

An in-depth look at Las Vegas police shootings

"In the wake of two controversial officer-involved shooting deaths in the summer of 2010, the Las Vegas Review-Journal analyzed two decades of shootings by officers with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

The newspaper found an insular police department that is slow to weed out problem cops and slower still to adopt policies and procedures that protect both its own officers and the citizens they serve. It is an agency that celebrates a hard-charging police culture while often failing to learn from its mistakes."

Businesses benefit from Florida environmental fund

Companies cheating vets out of business

'The Dayton Daily News reports that the U.S. Veterans Affairs inspector general’s office has estimated $500 million worth of VA contracts through the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Program go to ineligible businesses each year.

After the VA beefed up its review process over whether firms actually are headed by disabled veterans, it found 1,800 companies were not eligible. Of the 1,800, 70 were referred for criminal prosecution, according to a Nov. 30 report by the Government Accountability Office."

Former professor skips on ethics fine for 10 years

"A former professor at The Evergreen State College has skipped out on paying the largest ethics fine in Washington state history, a KUOW investigation has found.

Jorge Gilbert's deadline for paying a $120,000 fine came and went at the end of November. It's not the first time Gilbert has avoided the consequences of steering college funds to his family members. Evergreen officials had evidence that Gilbert misused state funds more than a decade before the school finally gave him the boot."