Ya Shouldn’t Be So Generous, Charlie’

By —Tom Tracy

You shouldn’t be so generous, Joe. That was the thrust of a routine financial audit of the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where it was discovered that several of DA Charles Hynes employees received incomes well beyond the city’s salary range for those particular positions. The audit was conducted by the office of New York City Comptroller William J. Thompson, Jr., the city’s chief financial officer. According to the audit, which was released in late December, 178 of the 534 District Attorney employees who were not Assistant District Attorneys “were not within the salary range of their career and salary plan titles.” In some of the cases, employees were receiving tens of thousands more than they were supposed to. All told, the increase salaries cost the city $1.4 million, according to published reports. In one instance, a secretary was making upwards of $83,000 when the city caps the salary of that particular position at $39,000, according to the audit. Also, the audit determined that employees were “allowed to leave work early the day before major holidays.” A sampling of non-ADA employees “had more than five instances of undocumented sick leave within a sick leave period, but were not placed on sick leave restriction.” While no levies and fines were posted, Thompson’s office recommended that Hynes staff stick to the city’s career and salary plan, which was designed to “provide fair and comparable work” for all city employees. The Comptroller’s office also recommended that Hynes follow several of their Comptroller Directives regarding employee salaries. Officials said that the Kings County District Attorney’s office was not targeted by the Comptroller and that their discoveries came out of a regular audit. Audits of the Queens District Attorney and the Manhattan District Attorney, as well as the New York City Public Library were conducted in the same month. A spokesman from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that they are “making every effort to comply with the comptroller’s recommendations.”

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