Former Philly mailroom workers could face criminal charges over padding time cards

City Controller Alan Butkovitz during a press conference Tuesday (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

City Controller Alan Butkovitz during a press conference Tuesday (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Some surveillance video has uncovered fraud in the City of Philadelphia’s mailroom operation. 

In the time of just two months,  a few well-placed video cameras showed employees of adding overtime to their handwritten time cards without doing any extra work, said Alan Butkovitz, city controller.

“This was conspired by the mail center’s supervisor and administrative officer who knowingly certified overtime for themselves and other mail center employees,” Butkovitz reported.  “The supervisor was the most egregious example, as he knowingly certified 169 hours of overtime for 10 mail center employees that were not at the worksite costing in excess of $5,000.”

The video camera rolled in December and January, said Butkovitz, adding that Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration has since fixed the problem.

“There have been significant changes — it went from mailroom mayhem to mailroom management in a short period,” he said.

Investigation materials have also been referred to the city district attorney’s office for possible criminal charges against two now former employees.

Frank Breslin, who now oversees the mailroom operation for the city, said he appreciated the ongoing review of the mail center.

“Since April, we have made significant improvements to the center’s operation,” stated Breslin. “We have installed video cameras that allow remote monitoring; eliminated backlogs so that work is in now processed within two days of receipt; improved work flow and processes within the mail center; and altered USPS pickup times to allow more time for processing.

“These changes have led to a nearly 50 percent reduction in overtime in the center for the fourth quarter of FY16 compared to the same period in FY15,” he continued. “This is an ongoing process — more improvements are to come, and the administration is committed to seeing them through.”

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