KSAT Defenders investigation: San Antonio city employees caught breaking policies
Workers disciplined or submit resignations
SAN ANTONIO - A number of city employees have either been disciplined or have resigned over the last year after being caught doing things they shouldn’t.
In December 2011, a City of San Antonio Solid Waste employee was caught on hidden camera picking up trash outside Wolff's Tavern on two different occasions.
The problem was the tavern stop was not on Alfred Flores' route.
"I'm not going to lie to you, sir, I picked up four cases of recycle right there by the curb," Flores said in a videotaped interview with investigators with the city’s Office of Municipal Integrity.
Flores initially said he was doing it for safety reasons, but later admitted his son worked part time at the bar for its elderly owner.
"Since he started working there he asked me, 'Papa, do you think you could pick up the recycled bottles?'” Flores said on tape. “I said, 'Yeah, I'll pick them up.'"
He expressed remorse for breaking city policy. "I don't want to lose my job," Flores said.
The 29-year employee was suspended for one week and later resigned.
In another case, OMI investigators looked into complaints about library employee Melissa Bustos. She was accused of setting up accounts for other people.
OMI investigator Steve Harrison questioned her on videotape about a list of library accounts that were traced to her email address.
"Is that an actual person?” Harrison asked. “No,” Bustos replied.
“Did you create that account?” Harrison asked. “Yes,” Bustos answered.
She admitted setting up accounts for other people and then using them for herself.
She also extended due dates and wiped out one fine, but apologized for the lapse in judgment.
"I know it was wrong and I'm sorry,” Bustos said on tape. “I shouldn't have done it." She resigned.
Often technology is used to catch city employees doing things they shouldn't.
For example, many city vehicles are equipped with GPS tracking systems so employees will only go where they're supposed to be.
That tracking system showed a big Public Works Department dump truck sitting on a small side street for 20 minutes.
Guadalupe Alonzo said he was driving the truck and stopped there to go to the bathroom at a friend's house.
"I'm very picky about where I go to the restroom," Alonzo told investigators on tape. He was suspended for one day.
To report fraud, waste or abuse involving the City of San Antonio, citizens are urged to call 207-CLUE or 207-2583.
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