Two employees accused of payroll irregularities

HOUSTON It's the department tasked with picking up other people's trash, but the solid waste department is sorting out a mess of its own.

"I think when you're talking about any employee in an unauthorized manner getting access to funds that are not theirs, that, in of itself, is a major problem," said Arturo Michel, Houston city attorney.

The city confirms that two employees are under investigation for payroll irregularities. Those employees both worked in the payroll department at the central office downtown.

The accusation is that those two employees noted payments made to workers, money those workers never received.

"We received a complaint that there were payroll irregularities, that employees were getting access to funds that they didn't have the right to have," said Michel.

The exact amount of money is not being disclosed, but we do know the Office of Inspector General is investigating for possible criminal charges.

"Since February, we've taken steps to identify the access people had," said Michel.

As for the two employees, one has resigned and the other placed on administrative leave without pay. All of this as the city examines what possibly went wrong and how to fix it.

"This is a serious issue, but I think the city has been able to take prompt and swift action and I don't think any individual has been harmed. I think we can take the steps to make sure the city will be made whole," said Michel.

City officials said they placed the one employee on administrative leave without pay because she failed to return to work after being informed of the investigation.

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