I-Team 10 update: City parking director placed on administrative leave
Posted at: 07/13/2012 2:20 PM
| Updated at: 07/13/2012 6:52 PM
By: Brett Davidsen | WHEC.com
The city’s parking bureau director is ousted after an internal audit turns up money collection issues. The audit found that in one of the city owned parking garages, some people were being allowed to park for free while others may not have been getting billed properly.
On Friday, the mayor announced the parking director, Susan Olley, would be leaving the department.
The city isn’t sure how much money might have been squandered by the lack of controls in the parking bureau, but the deputy mayor told I-Team 10 they certainly aren’t happy with the direction the department was heading.
Reacting quickly to the results of a scorching audit of the city’s parking bureau, Mayor Tom Richards announced he was making a change in the department’s management. Ousted is director Susan Olley who has been on the job since 2009. Heading up the search for her replacement is Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon.
Deputy Mayor Leonard Redon said, “Our director will be moving on and will go through a national search to find a new director.”
As I-Team 10 reported Thursday, the City of Rochester’s Office of Public Integrity has been conducting a sweeping audit of the entire parking bureau operations and has uncovered major issues. A copy of the Office of Public Integrity’s executive summary focuses specifically on the High Falls Parking Garage. It found the bureau didn’t bill businesses for validations in a timely manner, gave free parking to city enforcement officers and customer service personnel and didn’t deposit cash collections in a timely manner. The investigation also uncovered that the bureau lost track of which key cards users had paid their monthly bills.
Redon said, “The audit was disappointing. It showed that the administrative processes and the management processes were not consistent with what our expectations were for how that bureau should be operating.”
I-Team 10 has also learned that another manager in the bureau is under scrutiny. Jacquie Whitfield, a longtime city employee was placed on administrative leave last week. The deputy mayor would not address the reason why.
Olley was brought in by former Mayor Bob Duffy to handle the consolidation of the bureau of parking which brought the parking lots and garages, meter collections and ticket enforcement under one roof. She also led the efforts to bring in pay stations to replace the old single space meters.
The selection of Olley as director of parking might have been considered a surprising choice.
I-Team 10’s investigation uncovered similar problems during her tenure as parking director in West Palm Beach, Florida where she held the same position just prior to coming to Rochester. An audit there found problems with cash collections, asset protection and record keeping.
Redon: "You might say you would be surprised, but she’s also very knowledgeable, but it would appear that some of the management shortcomings that were seen in Florida we also saw here."
Redon says the audit of the High Falls Garage is just the beginning of a process to look at the entire organization. In the meantime, Molly Clifford has been named interim director of the department.