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Is it fraud or mismanagement? DC Council member asks for another IG investigation following testimony of Chief Ellerbe on mechanics’ overtime.

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The DC Fire & EMS Department seems to remain in the news these last few weeks with stories that linger. This one comes out of last week’s testimony by Chief Kenneth Ellerbe at a City Council hearing. Council member Tommy Wells has, for the second time this week, called for an inspector general’s investigation of the department. Wells wants to get to the bottom of an overtime list of mechanics at the department’s shop that became part of the questioning of Chief Ellerbe during the hearing. Reporter Matt Ackland at WTTG-TV/Fox5 has the story:

Why are D.C. Fire and EMS mechanics working so much overtime? Councilmember Tommy Wells wants to get to the bottom of it.

This week, Wells sent a letter to D.C.’s Inspector General asking for an investigation.

Wells told FOX 5, “It’s either mismanagement or fraud.”

Questions were raised last week when a report of the top overtime workers in the department was released. The top overtime earner, who works as a mechanic, made nearly $98,000 in overtime in 2012.

Wells also says there is a concern about worker safety if mechanics are working so much extra time around heavy equipment.

Council member Wells also wants the inspector general to look at sexual harassment complaints made by DC Fire & EMS Department cadets. Wells cited differences in accounts by the media and Chief Ellerbe as behind his call for the investigation.

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