Tulsa city manager draws heat over workers' clock-in practices

TULSA - Tulsa's city manager fielded questions from members of Tulsa City Council during an Urban and Economic Development meeting Thursday about five employees accused of clocking into work with the city only to work a secondary job at one of two Tulsa entertainment venues.

2NEWS Investigates 5 city of Tulsa employees for double-dipping (http://bit.ly/12EFxTX)

Tulsa City Manager Jim Twombly first apologized to 2nd District City Councilor Jeannie Cue when she asked why she learned of the situation from a news report.

Then, councilors focused their attention on how to prevent this kind of incident in the future.

Twombly said the situation of employees double-dipping could serve as a "wake-up call" to supervisors across city government.

"Supervisors need to be sure that they're checking on productivity of employees. That they are where they've said they've been. That sort of thing," Twombly said after the meeting.

He says employees who work a secondary job are required to fill out a form and present it to their supervisors. That form is then put in a file with the city's human resources department.

Twombly couldn't comment about whether the five employees accused of double-dipping on the tax payers' dime had filled out that paperwork.

"We need to make sure that there's not any conflict between their city job and their secondary job and we also just need to be sure that we're knowledgeable of it," he said.

Council raised the question of GPS devices on City of Tulsa vehicles. Twombly said that possibility remains in the discussion stages at the moment.

In an interview about the situation earlier this week with 2NEWS Investigator Marla Carter, Mayor Dewey Bartlett said he asked the same question so many have: How did this happen?

Bartlett said city employees are held to a higher level of accountability.

"We act very aggressively, very directly and very harshly because, as I said earlier, I do believe that we should be held, and are held, to a higher level of accountability."

Twombly says the Bartlett administration doesn't believe the issue of double-dipping is widespread.

RELATED: City employees worked other job for at least three months (http://bit.ly/15PWED3)

"We don't have any reason to believe that it's widespread. We see this as an isolated incident, but we certainly want to protect ourselves and make sure this doesn't happen again," Twombly said.

Cue reminded council that most city employees are trustworthy. She said they're often overworked and underpaid.

The five employees, who were fired for double-dipping, are the subject of a criminal investigation.

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