Comptroller Audit Finds Buffalo Fire Dispatchers Working 24, 48 Hour Days

Schroeder Says "Not Possible", Might Send it to Dist. Atty for Probe

Dave Debo
July 07, 2017 - 12:34 pm

WBEN Photo/Dave Debo

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(WBEN) Buffalo City Comptroller Mark Schroeder has found several city fire dispatchers who according to certified payroll records, worked 24 hour shifts 137 different times last year-- with seven of them on the clock for 48 hours.

Schroeder, who is running in the Democratic party mayoral primary against Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown says he expects to decide by the end of Friday whether the information in his audit should be looked at by the District Attorney or other law enforcement .

"If there is potential fraud here that wouldn't be our role, but perhaps I might have the responsibility to alert the appropriate party.. but to me I don't think it is possible to work a 48 hour shift, and I am very leery of anyone being able to work a full 24 hour shift 137 times," Schroeder said.  " And even if they did then there is a public safety issue"

READ THE ENTIRE AUDIT REPORT HERE

Schroeder also says this is not part of his campaign against Mayor Brown and he adds that it s a follow up audit to one conducted a year ago with concerns that he says weren't addressed before.

The audit also found civilian employees in the Fire Dept. averaged 400 hours of overtime per year, and cases where someone was taking personal time off at an overtime (time and a half) rate.

Brown responded to the audit and said overtime is sometimes required in the Fire Department. "There were vacancies in the dispatcher ranks. They were open positions, and they have since been filled," says Brown. "They are now being trained and we have addressed those issues."

The mayor added that he runs a fiscally conservative city government and will be able to rise to the challenges that come up with the resources they have.

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