A grand jury is about to investigate allegations that police officers and firefighters in Jersey City improperly charged the federal government more than $1 million in overtime. Overtime clocked during and after the 9/11 terror attacks.
Anthony Johnson has the story in Jersey City.
To start, we have to tell you that no one in the current administration at Jersey City, or in the Hudson County Prosecutor's office, was willing to go on tape to talk about this case. But we can tell you that the grand jury will begin reviewing the case of overtime abuse sometime in September.
It appears that police and firefighters might have put in for a tremendous amount of overtime pay during the emergency period following 9/11. A preliminary audit from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) suggests that there is $1.2 million in unsupported costs relating to manpower in the three months following the attacks.
Police brass apparently approved the overtime pay, and those funds were then reimbursed by FEMA. But now the government wants its money returned, and a grand jury will try to find out who gave the OK to pay out the overtime that apparently abused the system.
Some emergency service personnel put in for 16 hours of overtime on consecutive days, and made tens of thousands of dollars from September to November of 2001.
The Jersey City police department has conducted an internal investigation of the overtime abuse. But it appears this case may be one of gross mismanagement, that could involve 20 members of the police and fire departments.
It's still unclear if the case could lead to criminal charges.
The man in charge of the police department at the time of 9/11 and right after that is no longer with the city. As a matter of fact, no one can find him at this time. But he may become the target of a federal investigation.