KSAT-TV found that City of San Antonio civilian employees have reaped $357,000 in administrative leave pay since 2016.
Such leave is mostly used when employees are under investigation for possible wrongdoing. The TV station’s examination discovered that most of the employees who collected that pay eventually lost their jobs, either by resigning or being fired. The human resources records rarely explained why the employees were being investigated, KSAT reported.
The city released a statement defending the payments.
“The City strives to minimize the duration of time an employee is on administrative leave. With over 12,000 employees, every personnel matter is different and is handled accordingly. In situations where an investigation is needed, use of administrative leave mitigates risk while allowing for due process to occur,” KSAT reported that the statement read.
The TV station’s report listed a few examples of the employees and payments:
- Code enforcement officer Gilbert Ortiz received $6,000 in paid leave in 2016 while being investigated for misusing a city vehicle and not working while on city time. Investigators used GPS data from the vehicle to show he was at home a dozen times while his time sheets showed him at work. He was fired after the examination was completed.
- Military affairs director Robert Murdock received $20,200 in paid administrative leave after submitting a letter of resignation in February 2016. He had banked five months of unused vacation and sick time, but was paid for nearly two more months before he officially left his job. It was never made clear why Murdock left his position, KSAT reported.
- Human resources specialist Veronica Dodson retired early in 2019 but got $3,100 in paid administrative leave before that. While records showed Dodson was being investigated for perceived favoritism towards certain employees, she told KSAT her firing was unrelated and claimed it was age discrimination.