Buffalo, NY - BuffaloNorth District Councilmember Joseph Golombek, Jr. is asking for the city to remove Human Resources Commissioner Karla Thomas.
Golombek filed a resolution today with the Buffalo Common Council asking for Thomas to be removed in light of recent audits that found the city continued to pay insurance premiums for dead workers, even after being alerted to the problem in January.
"Our job is to protect the taxpayers of our city and the Commissioner failed miserably to protect the hardworking citizens of Buffalo and, in fact, may have cost them millions of dollars by paying health benefits to dead people. This is inexcusable and the Commissioner must be held accountable for all actions that occur in her department; therefore, if she won't resign, she should be removed from her position."
An audit by City Comptroller Andrew SanFilippo revealed that the city's Human Resources Department paid $2.7 million dollars of health insurance for deceased individuals when several simple and inexpensive steps could have been taken to prevent the improper and embarrassing expenditure of $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars.
A preliminary audit conducted months earlier by the Comptroller's office revealed that health insurance payments had been paid to deceased individuals. Mayor Byron Brown directed Commissioner Thomas to follow specific steps to correct the errors.
By: Mr. Golombek
Re: Removal of Karla Thomas As Commissioner of Human Resources
Whereas: A recent audit by City Comptroller Andrew Sanfilipo revealed that the city's Human Resources Department paid $2.7 million dollars of health insurance for deceased individuals; and
Whereas: According to the Comptroller's audit several simple and inexpensive steps could have been taken to prevent the improper and embarrassing expenditure of $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars; and
Whereas: A preliminary audit done several months ago revealed the existence of a problem regarding health insurance payments for deceased individuals; and
Whereas: Based on the Comptroller's preliminary audit Mayor Byron Brown directed Ms. Thomas as Commissioner of the Human Resources Department to implement several very specific steps to address the issue of paying health insurance for deceased individuals; and
Whereas: For reasons yet explained, Ms. Thomas or individuals reporting to her did not implement the specific steps requested by Mayor Brown; and
Whereas: The expenditure of $2.7 million dollars on health insurance for dead people is completely unacceptable; and
Now Therefore Be It Resolved:
That the Buffalo Common Council does hereby support the removal of Karla Thomas as Commissioner of Human Resources and calls upon Mayor Byron Brown to take the appropriate action necessary to remove Ms. Thomas from her position.
Joseph Golombek, Jr.
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