Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Another Scandal Involving CityTime

More CityTime fun:

The Bloomberg administration demoted a high-ranking agency official on Wednesday after she admitted falsifying time sheets and collecting more than $22,000 that she had not earned.

The official, Karen Shaffer, an assistant commissioner of the Department for the Aging, was not only demoted and fined, but will also now have to use a scanner to prove that she is showing up at work. An agency spokesman said she was not fired, for reasons that were not clear.

Ms. Shaffer acknowledged in a signed statement to the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board that between March 2009 and August 2010 she was paid for 290 hours of work that she did not perform. She said she did so by manually entering false information into the CityTime automated payroll system.

Ms. Shaffer was fined $1,000, but did not have to repay the $22,000 in unearned salary. She was demoted to a job in the Department of Homeless Services, at a salary of roughly $112,000 — 20 percent less than the $140,000 she earned as an assistant commissioner. She also agreed to use the hand scanner, a time-tracking device that is ordinarily used for rank-and-file employees but not senior officials.


Ms. Shaffer’s case, while unusual, adds an unflattering, if indirect, footnote to the history of CityTime, a project to automate the city’s payroll system that has been plagued by ballooning costs and sullied by subcontractors accused by federal prosecutors of hatching an $80 million corruption scheme. City unions have long complained that the CityTime system gives managers too much latitude by allowing them to enter their own time sheets.

The hard-nosed business mayor with a record of holding people accountable doesn't seem to be able to hold any of the contractors or managers working for him very accountable these days.

The scandals keep coming.

The money keeps disappearing.

Can't wait to hear what happens to the $550 million Bloomberg plans to spend on technology upgrades to schools next school year.

Will even half of it actually go to what it is supposed to go to?


  1. How many scandals does this make now? Is someone keeping track? Between all of the city departments, there are so many scandals to keep on top of.

  2. Regarding Ms. Shaffer's case: wow, management really is different from you and me. I bet that $1,000 dollar fine is really going to hurt.

    As for the technology expenditures, in a perverse but true way, the best outcome (short of the quaint 20th century idea of expanding access to and improving the public schools) would be for it all to get stolen. Otherwise it will either be used to replace teachers, or keep them under surveillance, statistical and otherwise.

    On a historical note: it would be very interesting to go through a sampling of news clips for instances of corruption during the bad old days of the community boards, which was always one of the reasons underpinning mayoral control of the schools. My guess is that the money the neighborhood political hacks stole back in the day was peanuts compared to what these corporate pilot fish are ingesting.