San Antonio city employees caught misusing time, vehicles
Faked inspections, skipping work among infractions
Tips from alert citizens have resulted in a number of city employees resigning or retiring after they were caught breaking the city’s code of conduct.
Ray Alizzi was a city building inspector. When new homes are built, city inspectors like Alizzi make sure the wiring, the plumbing and other aspects of construction are up to code. But Alizzi admitted approving the work done by contractors without seeing it.
"That travel distance will kill you, especially when the weather is bad," Alizzi told city investigators with the Office of Municipal Integrity.
Alizzi said the city did not want a backlog of inspections and he did not have time to do them all.
"It's wrong what I did,” Alizzi told OMI’s Richard Hernandez in a videotaped interview. “And I apologize for that, Richard."
A city vehicle sitting for hours at a McDonald's restaurant was the subject of another investigation. A citizen noticed it and called it to the city’s attention. The vehicle was driven by Public Works employee Armando Talamantes.
"It happened yesterday to be honest with you,” Talamantes told OMI investigators on videotape. “I didn't pay attention to the time. It could have been a couple of hours, I'm not sure."
Talamantes was found spending too much time not on the job.
Solid Waste Route Inspector Paul Juarez was found taking his city vehicle home a lot. He admitted in an OMI investigation that he went home just about every day that previous week. He said it was to give himself insulin but it took a long time.
"(It took) probably about an hour, hour and a half,” Juarez said.
Asked whether he spent close to two hours at home, Juarez answered, “Maybe. Yes, sir."
Robert Reynosa was found taking his Metro Health van home.
"I was under the assumption that they would take them home. I didn't know there was an actual extra special permission that was needed," Reynosa said.
He was not allowed to take the vehicle home and he too resigned.
The number for citizens to call to report fraud, waste or abuse involving the City of San Antonio is 207-CLUE or 207-2583.
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