By Luke Rosiak
Officials in two Treasury Department bureaus fraudulently enriched themselves at taxpayer expense, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The assistant commissioner of the Bureau of Public Debt who supervised 108 employees in the bureau's West Virginia office “was committing egregious time and attendance fraud," depriving taxpayers of nearly $100,000 in salary for hours she did not work, according to one of several Treasury Department inspector general documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, most of which had previously gone unreported.
The official, despite being paid an average yearly salary of nearly $170,000, "arrives at work approximately two hours late and/or takes two-hour lunch breaks and departs work at approximately 4:00 P.M. and does not take leave," and "consistently conducts personal business involving the Humane Society during work hours," IG investigators found after verifying a tip from an employee who said the top official "abuses her power by being absent whenever desired."
Her supervisor, the deputy commissioner, knew about the absences but did nothing, the investigators said.
“In approximately 2007,” investigators wrote, the assistant commissioner became vice president of a Humane Society chapter, and another BPD employee became president, according to the report.
The website of the Humane Society of Parkersburg, W.Va., lists Debbie Hines as vice president and Carrie J. Roe as president.
Federal pay records show that Hines was paid $168,453 in 2012 as assistant commissioner for public debt accounting, and Roe received approximately $144,000 as director of business technology for the BPD.
It is not clear whether either woman still works for the federal government. A current “executive management” listing on the BPD website does not include Hines.
Hines was “absent without leave” approximately 1,200 hours over four years, according to timesheet records based on scans of her employee identification badge's entry and exit from her workplace. An official work year in the federal civil service is 2,087 hours.
Hines "owes BPD a total of 1,218.77 hours from 2009 to 2012, or approximately $97,832.96 in salary. [Her] supervisor, [the] deputy commissioner, BPD, was aware of [her] varied hours, and an anonymous complaint sent to BPD management regarding [her] time and attendance, but stated that she was not overly concerned about [her] hours because [she] is a stellar employee,” investigators wrote.
Her supervisor worked in an office 300 miles away in Washington, D.C., and said Hines was a "good leader" who handles "politically sensitive and time sensitive work," but that she occasionally had trouble reaching her.
When interviewed for the Hines investigation, Roe, who holds the federal employee classification of GS-15, admitted to missing 346 hours, which, at a salary of $69 per hour, not including benefits, amounted to $23,874.
More of article at link:http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2544743