Investigation into city's summer jobs program continues - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Investigation into city's summer jobs program continues

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - City officials continued their investigation Tuesday into who was paid - and who wasn't - as part of Memphis' Summer Youth Employment Program.

An audit of the program was presented Tuesday to the Memphis City Council's Economic Development, Tourism & Technology Committee.  Officials said of the nearly 3,000 children who participated in the program, roughly 2,000 were paid.

"We still have approximately 800 children for which there are pay discrepancies that still remain," said L. Hall of the city of Memphis.

"When we pulled the records some of them didn't get paid all summer long," Memphis CAO Jack Sammons said.

The program's director was authorized to take on more workers than usual because of federal stimulus money.  However, officials say they've dealt with challenges and inconsistencies with keeping track of time cards and paychecks.

"Advanced payments were made to children in the first or second period of the program and those advanced payments created an issue: a false perception to children that at the end they thought they had money they had not worked for," Hall said.

Council members wondered what would happen with the program in the future.

"What's going to be done so that the situation that has occurred presently won't occur again?" Council member Edmund Ford, Jr. asked.

"We are examining each check to make sure every check that has been issued in the name of the child has been cashed, and we're contacting each of the work sites to make sure we have authorized time sheets," Hall said.

Program officials said they have the funds to pay all the children who are supposed to get paid.  Officials hope to have all the check discrepancies cleared by October 14th.

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