Duffey orders timecard tracking at City Hall
COMPTON—City Manager Harold Duffey is now requiring employees who work for Mayor Eric J. Perrodin, and Council members Yvonne Arceneaux, Willie Jones, Janna Zurita and Lillie Dobson to keep a record of hours worked with a time tracking system.
Employees who work in the city manager’s office must follow the same system.
The change took place on Aug. 13.
“Inaccurate timecard reporting is fraud,” Duffey said. “This is not considered real crime, but falsification can lead to criminal sanctions and civil remedies. In light of recent accusations of mismanagement, waste, and abuse, it is vital that we are as transparent as possible.”
Mayor Eric J. Perrodin made those allegations and asked for help in a letter to State Controller John Chiang on Dec. 1, 2011. That action led to the resignation of city audit firm Mayer Hoffman McCann after submitting an incomplete single audit report with a disclaimer of opinion on June 27.
The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s placed the city’s bonds on credit watch with negative implications on July 13.
The city is currently operating within a 90-day window to resolve its audit difficulties. Duffey is soliciting a forensic audit firm that can determine the validity of Perrodin’s allegations. The city must complete an independent audit or the rating agency can withdraw or suspend its bonds ratings.
Employees must contact the city manager’s secretary when reporting to work, or use the centralized time code system located throughout City Hall and off-site facilities.
Other changes at City Hall include a memo released by City Treasurer Douglas Sanders on Thursday, July 12, stating that he would enforce the city charter regarding warrants, which prohibits city employees from taking outstanding invoices to his office for same-day service.
“All warrants released from the treasurer's office will be done in the order of the warrant register, as per the City Charter,” he wrote. “Warrants coming into the treasurer's office for issuance will go to the bottom of the stack. As money or funds become available they will go out by the warrant number and date, no exceptions.”
Sanders advised city employees against calling his office and harassing his employees about when they can expect payment.
Perrodin asked City Controller Stephen Ajobiewe for a complete report of the city finances and purchase orders from every department over the last five years during the City Council meeting on Nov. 1.
“I need every single purchase order,” he said. “If there is a one-cent purchase order, we need it. If the state does an audit we will need it anyway, so we might as well be ready.”
Duffey called the timecard tracking situation unique.
“Supervisors sign most employee timecards,” he said. “I have to sign the timecards for City Council employees, but they may work modified hours away from the office. I cannot attest to those hours, but the tracking system addresses this problem.”
Duffey reaffirmed the city’s 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. office hours.
“If you cannot maintain this schedule because of special events or requests from the mayor and Council, please have that elected official sign any timecard modifications,” he said. “I will not sign any timecard for elected official support staff that does not include the attached supplemental timecard sheet.”
The next City Council meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 4.