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DOT Workers Averaging $48,000 In Overtime Is Definitely Suspicious

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Signs, signs, everywhere signs (Photo by Luigi Anzivino via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Workers in L.A.'s Department of Transportation collected an astounding $3.3 million in overtime pay last year, according to a new audit that suspects fraud. A new report from the City Controller shows that workers in the DOT's traffic paint and sign division billed an average of $48,100 in overtime, quite a bit more than the $8,377 that went to workers for overtime in many other city departments, according to the L.A. Times.

From 2013 to 2014, 30 DOT employees claimed on average over 1,000 hours in OT, and seven of them claimed 2,000 hours. That would be the equivalent of working 38 hours of overtime every week, according to the City Controller. That sounds like a lot of extra time devoted to paint and signs if you ask us.

Four supervisor's in the division pulled in over $70, 000 in overtime pay, while one superintendent claimed $155,319 in overtime on top of his $78,000 annual salary, according to the audit.

To add to the suspicion of fraud, the audit says department officials couldn't show that the overtime had been pre-approved or point to what work might have been done during all those extra hours. Plus, all of that overtime mysteriously dropped off by 44% after the audit began.

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There isn't enough evidence yet to begin a criminal investigation, but the audit does recommend updating the department's record-keeping methods and creating an annual overtime usage plan.

"It certainly raises a lot of very serious questions," City Controller Ron Galperin told the L.A. Times. It certainly does.