PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh taxpayers are out thousands of dollars because of a major theft allegedly by a part-time employee at the counter in the Police Records Room in Municipal Court, City Controller Michael Lamb confirmed Thursday.

“Over $17,000 in cash was taken from the records room,” Lamb said.

But that’s not all.

In releasing an audit of that office, Lamb said $61,000 in check payments were not properly deposited, and many checks were deposited too late.

“More than $14,000 of that were stale-dated, so it’s unlikely the city will recover that money as well,” he added.

The fired cashier, said Lamb, is likely to face criminal prosecution. But the Controller says it’s indicative of a greater problem in city government.

“We really have to take a look at this city-wide,” Lamb said. “Cash management, we’ve felt for a long time, is problematic in a lot of departments in the city where customers are coming into an office and paying for things over the counter.”

Lamb’s finding of theft at the Police Records Room prompted him to make a number of recommendations, including upgraded cash registers, better supervision, separating the people who take the money from those who deposit it at the bank, bonding the cashiers and annual audits.

The police have already made one significant change — no cash payments for the records.

That may become the norm at all city agencies.

Lamb recommended agencies accept credit card payments in lieu of cash.

“We know that there’s a cost associated with that, but what it helps in respect to – elimination of fraud like this kind of thing and the customer service of it.”

City Employee Fired, Accused Of Stealing Thousands (1/10/13)
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