East Ridge employees resign in umpire pay scam
City says no criminal charges will be filed
EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – Three workers for the city of East Ridge has resigned in the face of an umpiring pay scandal investigation.
Officials say it involved a bogus pay scheme for umpiring softball and baseball games at Camp Jordan.
City workers are not allowed to do side jobs for the city.
Camp Jordan used to have a third party contractor handle payments for the umpiring, but that person quit last April.
Since then, the city has taken over the job.
Officials say a couple of weeks ago, the Finance Department got a tip that a woman working for the city got an umpiring check, but never umpired a single game.
In fact, her step father, who worked as a civilian for the Police Department, did.
That started the investigation which found a scheme orchestrated by the Parks Director to file false W-9 forms to the IRS to allow the umpiring checks.
Officials say the investigation found that two employees (one from the fire department, the other from the police department) used fake W-9 forms, worked under false names and took payment not meant for them.
The investigation also found the Director of Parks passed on the fraudulent forms, submitted false time sheets, and gave checks to people who were not the intended recipients.
Basically, city money went to people who didn’t do the work they were being paid for.
When faced with the accusations, all three resigned on January 10th.
The IRS has since been informed of the pay discrepancies.
East Ridge officials say that the actions taken by the employees were felonies.
But since they fraud was under $500, no criminal charges have been filed.