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City worker got family leave while in prison

A city employee sentenced to prison applied for federal family leave from his jail cell and got it, according to a report released Friday by city Inspector General Joe Ferguson.

And when the worker’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) time off was exhausted, he applied for and received a personal leave of absence.

For both leaves, the employee, who worked as a concrete laborer for the city Department of Transportation, submitted documents claiming he needed the time off to care for a sick daughter.

But when interviewed, the worker admitted he provided no such care, according to the report.

The employee used a combination of paid vacation and sick leave, as well as unpaid FMLA and personal leave, to cover about seven months spent in prison in 2013.

His actions amounted to a falsification of employment records and violated several other city personnel rules, the report said.

He had been arrested and convicted for aggravated driving on a revoked or suspended license in his case, a felony requiring mandatory prison time.

The employee would have been fired but retired during the investigation. He has been placed on the city’s do not hire list. CDOT did not respond to a request for comment.

Other cases in the report included a retired police officer issued credentials to carry a concealed firearm even though he was under an internal affairs investigation for lying to federal agents — and a firefighter who drove on a suspended driver’s license while on duty for over a year.

In his report, Ferguson also called for better oversight of the City Council, which has its own inspector general, but one with limited powers.