Police are investigating apparent payroll irregularities at Shreveport’s Metropolitan Planning Commission after a whistleblower’s complaint.
The whistleblower complained of “highly irregular” timelines in timesheets submitted by an MPC employee who was making up for shortages in her hours worked. The whistleblower provided documents to investigators.
KTBS News also obtained copies of those documents, which state the employee, Ebony Mapp, worked during the middle of the night, then returned a couple of hours later for her regular shift.
An email, also submitted by the whistleblower, indicated MPC supervisors were aware that sick time was being granted before it was accrued, a violation of city policy. Those two supervisors signed off on the compensatory time for the unusual hours worked, the time sheets show.
The Caddo Shreveport Financial Crimes Task Force is reviewing the documents and has interviewed at least one person.
Authorities declined comment on the case, saying they don’t talk about pending investigations. No charges have been filed.
Mapp is a planner with the MPC, the city-parish agency which handles zoning applications and reviews site plans for businesses and residential developments.
Mapp declined comment when approached by KTBS News. MPC Executive Director Mark Sweeney declined repeated requests for comment.
Documents and emails obtained by KTBS News show Mapp was short on available leave due to the amount of time she had already used.
The whistleblower’s Dec. 13 letter to the city said the employee “is repeatedly allowed to submit requests for compensatory time allowing her to be paid for time off with highly irregular and alarming timelines.”
Compensatory time sheets submitted by Mapp have unusual hours:
— On March 16-17, 2017, a compensatory time request showed she worked from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and again from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. She reported for work the following day, according to her city attendance calendar.
— On May 3, 2017, a compensatory time request showed she worked from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. and then from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. A regular work day was sandwiched between those time periods, according to her attendance calendar.
— On another day, Mapp reported working from 7:30 p.m. to midnight and then returned the next day, according to documents from the whistleblower.
–There were three days where she made time up immediately at the end of the work day.
Investigators are also reviewing internal MPC emails that said supervisors knew Mapp did not have enough accrued sick leave to allow her to have a full paycheck. One email obtained by KTBS News said the balance could be made up over the coming two months. The email said other employees were
allowed to make up time in similar ways in the past.City policy does not allow employees to be advanced sick time, compensatory time or vacation time, said Africa Price, a spokeswoman for Mayor Ollie Tyler’s administration. Paid time off is supposed to be drawn against leave that has been accrued by the employee.
Mapp’s base salary is $59,800. Local government also contributes $11,500 a year to a retirement plan.
City Councilman James Flurry is an outspoken critic of the MPC, saying it’s not responsive to the needs of Shreveport’s business community. He’s pushed for the city to limit the MPC’s funding or even take over planning and zoning inside the city limits.
“The city funds the biggest part of (the MPC) — overwhelming amount — yet we have no control. (MPC) can give the sloppiest customer service, which we have received complaint after complaint,” Flurry said. “I know that the MPC needs to follow the law. It is a credibility issue now. When we’re down here struggling for revenues, and you’ve got a guy up there giving raises, and blowing and going, what are the other employees down here saying?”
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