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Audit Says Public Utilities Employees Were Paid Full Time For Part Time Work

Johnnie Perkins, the deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure and pu...

Photo by Jade Hindmon

Above: Johnnie Perkins, the deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure and public works, speaks to journalists, Aug. 30, 2018.

Hundreds of San Diegans were wrongly charged sky-high water bills from late 2017 to early this year, partly because of broken meters.

The city says there is currently a backlog of 25,000 broken water meters in San Diego, and some of the people responsible for fixing them have been working less than four-hour days while getting paid eight-hour salaries, between $30,000 and $68,000 a year.

Audit Uncovers Full Time Employees Working Part-Time Hours

RELATED: San Diego Water Department Sent 2,750 Incorrect Bills In 2017, Audit Found

It’s one of the many inefficiencies uncovered by an ongoing audit of the city’s Public Utilities Department. Johnnie Perkins, the deputy chief operating officer for infrastructure and public works, said the department is responding by making workflow changes.

“I want to make it very clear that in no way is this acceptable. Everyone is required to work the full day for what they are being paid for. This is part of the culture that we are in the process of changing," Perkins said.

RELATED: San Diego Officials Looking To Solve Mystery Of High Water Bills

The department plans to report the first set of recommendations from the ongoing audit by mid-September. Meanwhile, Vic Bianes, who heads the water department, is retiring. A nationwide search for his replacement is underway.

Overpaying employees is one of several problems revealed by the audit.

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