BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - RELEASE: North District Councilmember Joseph Golombek, Jr. filed a resolution Thursday with the Buffalo Common Council calling for the removal of City of Buffalo Human Resources Commissioner Karla Thomas.
"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."
Councilmember Golombek's resolution noted that "a recent 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 and that several simple and inexpensive steps could have been taken to prevent the improper and embarrassing expenditure of $2.7 million in taxpayer dollars."
The resolution also noted that a preliminary audit conducted months earlier by the Comptroller's office revealed that health insurance payments had been paid to deceased individuals and that Mayor Byron Brown directed Commissioner Thomas to follow specific steps to correct the errors that had been committed within her department.
"It is plain to anyone who has looked at all of the information on this matter that Commissioner Thomas and her staff failed to heed the Mayor's direction and ignored the findings of the Comptroller's audit," said Councilmember Golombek. "I have therefore filed this resolution with the Common Council calling upon Mayor Brown ‘to take the appropriate action necessary to remove Ms. Thomas from her position.'"
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