Watchdog: Follow the Money

Public housing workers reap thousands in overtime for unlocking doors

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Watchdog,Housing and Urban Development,California,Kelly Cohen,Waste and Fraud,Follow the Money,Housing

California public housing workers made thousands in overtime by double-billing for the same job, a records review by the Center of Investigative Reporting has found.

Two handymen, Jeffery Likely and Allen Wheeler, both said they unlocked and closed up the identical recreation room at a Richmond, Calif., public housing complex called Friendship Manor.

By both saying they were opening the rec room at 8 a.m. and closing it at 5 p.m., the men were able to charge for six hours of overtime.

Over four years, Likely was paid more than $67,000 in overtime by the Richmond Housing Authority; Wheeler was paid more than $58,000.

They both charged overtime for opening and closing the one door at nearly the same time on 10 occasions in 2013, according to the CIR investigation.

Both men make an annual base salary of $23,000, while also living in housing authority apartments rent free.

The Richmond Housing Authority has a $26 million annual budget and is often labeled as "one of the worst-run housing agencies in the country" by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the CIR article reveals.

The agency is also nearly $7 million in debt.

Read the full article here.

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