ATLANTA - The probe into corruption at Atlanta City Hall is expanding. Federal authorities are now examining travel done by workers and their bosses to take part in training workshops. The programs can last a full week and require admission fees -- sometimes as much as $2,000
Sources told FOX 5 News, some city staffers who apply for and receive payment to attend fail to show up for even one workshop.
The sources said the absentees are the first way taxpayers are getting cheated. There is another way. Some AWOL city employees have figured out a scam.
They know that some programs will permit last-minute cancellations with the payment of a 10 percent fee. But that would still leave $1,800 as a refund. The worker can pocket that cash because they still have the original paperwork reflecting that they went for the training.
An official with the Bottoms administration, Joshua Williams, said safeguards have been put in to follow the money. He said it starts with eliminating, in most cases, advance checks to the workers before the event. He said payments or any refunds go directly from the city finance office to the vendor.