4/23/08

Gov't-union cracks down on fraud investigator

A union president is complaining about what he calls "intimidation" tactics by the city's fraud investigator. Four Flint, Michigan parks employees recently were given 29-day unpaid suspensions for allegedly making profane remarks against the city's fraud investigator. But Sam Muma, president of AFSCME Local 1600, said on Tuesday the employees did not use any profanity. The union plans to file a grievance.

And, Muma said the investigator, Christopher Wolf, is wasting the city's time going after employees over trivial issues rather than investigating real fraud.

"Enough is enough," Muma said.

Wolf wrote in a memo that at while he was pumping gas at a city garage, he heard people saying, "Get the (expletive) out of here."

Mayor Don Williamson said Wolf would not be available for comment to the media and he didn't know about the specific incident. But he said he has generally been forgiving of employees who make mistakes.

"I truly hope I am fair and honest with all employees," Williamson said. "Nobody treats the unions better than I do."

Wolf, according to a memo he wrote about the incident, is "security/fraud manager" for the city's Risk Management department.

Muma said denied the incident occurred and said the employees were "very professional."

And, he said Wolf should spend more time going after people who are stealing water from the city or if employees are stealing money.

Franklin Greene Jr., also a union official with AFSCME Local 1600, said he believes it's retaliation for lobbying the City Council to table contracting out weed cutting on medians and boulevards.

Williamson denied that issue is related, adding that he doesn't object to union employees doing the work and that issue can be resolved.

(mlive.com)

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