PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Authorities say a city employee has been fired under suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars in taxpayer’s money.

The woman worked at the counter of the police records room in municipal court. That’s where the public can pay $15 dollars for a police report.

Controller Michael Lamb says his audit showed that the woman was pocketing that cash instead.

“There was a significant theft,” he said. “There was also a significant financial loss to the city.”

At least $17,000 in cash alone and there is still some $60,000 in un-cashed checks that needs to be reconciled.

“It’s disturbing on a number of fronts,” said Lamb. “It’s a violation of the public trust. It’s the kind of thing that as a public employee, you get angry about because it’s the kind of thing that makes us all look bad.”

Fired in November, the cashier is now the focus of a criminal investigation being conducted by the District Attorney’s Office, but Lamb says the cash points to a larger problem.

“It also says something very disturbing about just the way cash is handled in the City of Pittsburgh and the way that we deal with just our day to day business,” Lamb added. “When you have a situation where someone can first off can steal more than $17,000 in cash, that’s a problem.”

After the woman was fired, city police instituted a policy of no longer accepting cash payments but Lamb says tighter controls are needed.

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