08-27-2010, 04:22 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chantilly, VA
Total Cats: 1,362
Employee Gets Paid for 12 Years Without Working
NORFOLK, Va. - A community services board employee has received a salary and benefits for 12 years without showing up for work, Norfolk city officials and the agency's director said.
Executive Director Maureen Womack refused to identify the employee or reveal the worker's salary, but she acknowledged in response to inquiries from The Virginian-Pilot that an employee was "on the board's payroll who had not reported to work in years."
Womack said she fired the employee, informed the board that governs her agency and asked the city attorney to investigate the matter earlier this summer. Womack said the investigation is nearly complete and its findings soon will be turned over to police.
"It's so astounding to me, I don't know what to say," Councilman Barclay C. Winn said at the council's meeting Wednesday. "I'm embarrassed."
The community services board, which provides medication, counseling and psychiatric services to about 6,000 Norfolk residents, is an independent agency that receives funding from the city, state and federal governments.
The agency's 300 employees have an average salary of about $35,000.
Mayor Paul Fraim said the board does "tremendous" work, "but it's beyond me right now how this could have happened."
The council also was told in a recent closed meeting that at least one other staffer, a Community Services Board supervisor, is being investigated for alleged complicity.
Womack has headed the agency since February 2009. Executive board member Kenny Bryant said Womack brought the issue to the board's attention as soon as she learned the employee was being paid without working.
"There was no politicking, no hesitation whatsoever," he said. "The primary issue was to do what was morally and legally right."