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Goldstein Investigation: Some City Workers Go Home After Short Day But Still Get Paid

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Most people have to put in eight hours of work to get eight hours worth of pay.

But not so with some city of LA workers Investigative Reporter David Goldstein caught with hidden cameras.

Here is a full script of Goldstein's investigation:

"How is it that you get to leave every morning? We watched you numerous days?"

"I don't."

"You don't? We watched you numerous days, sir.

Day after day."

We watched this city of LA employee arrive at work around 6:30 in the morning.

And then just leave for home within the next two hours.

And other employees as well.

"You guys come in like 6:30 and then leave like 7:30, 8:00. Why is that?"

"Is this like an ambush out of nowhere?"

They work out of this city facility near Elysian Park. Full-time employees. Part of a drilling crews that are used to get soil samples for city maintenance work on bridges and roads.

Take Paul Adams. He's a drill rig operator. Making more than a hundred thousand dollars of taxpayer money in 2016.

On this day we watched him come to work at 6:30 in the morning.

Then leave at 8:15! Less than two hours later.

We watched as he picked up lunch with someone.

Then looking at car parts.

And then went home.

All while earning your taxpayer money.

That's because his official city time sheet shows that he worked for 9 hours!

Another day we saw him leave at 8 a.m.

Went Christmas tree shopping at Home Depot with his kids-took them to lunch and then went home.

Again you paid for it. His time sheet that day shows 8 hours worked.

We saw it again and again with Adams…and with this man Howard Roth.

He's a material testing technician for the city. And made more than $90,000 in taxpayer money in salary and benefits in 2016.

On this day we saw him come to work at 7:15.

And leave about an hour and a half later!

By 9:30 in the morning, he was at his home in Sylmar.

But his city time sheet shows he put in 8 hours work.

Another time he left the office after just an hour and six minutes.

We followed him to the Post Pffice.

To his house...

Then a medical facility

Somewhere else

And home again.

But taxpayers paid him for 9 hours of work!

"Mr Roth, I'm David Goldstein with CBS2 News.

"How you doing?"

"Good. How are you doing?"


After the pleasantries, Roth didn't have a lot to say.

"Can you tell me why is it you show up for work and the leave an hour later?"

"I really don't have an answer for you at this time is all I can tell you."

"How come you don't have answer?"

He even denied putting in for a full day's pay.

"I don't get paid for 8 hours is what I'm telling you"

But remember his time sheets!

"Hey, Mr. Adams, David Goldstein with CBS2 News."

Adams claims he is allowed to leave--even though he collects his pay!

"Aren't you supposed to be on the clock today?"

"No, I was released. The supervisor let me go."

"But we've watched you numerous days. The supervisor let you go every day?"

"You'd have to talk to him."

"Mr. Solomon, David Goldstein with CBS2 News"

We tried. But the supervisor wasn't talking either.

"Is that normal procedure?"

"You'll have to talk with our general manager."

"But I'm talking to you. You're the supervisor. Do you normally release city employees after an hours worth of work?"

"No comment"

But it seems after we kept questioning Adams, he changed his tune.

"I'm taking vacation time."

"You're not taking - why do you go in in the morning if you're taking vacation time?"

"It's half-day. Half-day, half-day."

"Now it's vacation time?"

"Hey, happy new year!"

Interesting that he mentions vacation. Because after they found out what days we were watching, they put in for a few hours of vacation time on some days.

We wanted answers from city officials but they refused to comment because they say it's now all under investigation.

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