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Daley Takes Credit for IG Audit of Fire Department Mileage Claims

By Chuck Sudo in News on Nov 9, 2010 10:09PM

2010_11_9_cfd.jpg Mayor Daley is taking credit this afternoon for an audit into the mileage reports of the Fire Department's Fire Prevention Bureau. The audit conducted by Inspector General Joseph Ferguson, showed that nearly 80 percent of the bureau's 108 drivers falsified mileage claims that Ferguson estimates cost taxpayers "thousands of dollars" in 2009 alone.

The Fire Prevention Bureau has long been in the cross hairs of the Inspector General and Fire Department, stemming from a scandal in 2007 which showed drivers doing personal business while on duty. After that scandal was rooted out by then Fire Department Chief Ray Orozco, the drivers in the Fire Prevention Bureau were required to carry cell phones with GPS tracking devices. The IG report showed that Bureau drivers were reimbursed at the IRS rate of 55 cents per mile with an unspecified monthly cap that the drivers worked backward from in order to circumnavigate. More than a dozen Bureau drivers admitted to falsifying mileage claims when confronted with the GPS evidence.

When asked why the abuses were still happening three years after the 2007 investigation, Daley launched into a classic case of Daleyspeak.

"No it isn’t,’’ Daley insisted. “They have GPS [records] on these individuals. . . . They all know this. GPS information will be reviewed by the Fire Department to determine any abuse [that] takes place. They’ve done an audit in regards to their inspections, and they’re on it since 2007,"