Deputies searching for juvenile runaway   Deputies in St. Joseph County are asking for help in finding a runaway teen.

DEVELOPING

I-Team: Battle Creek facing more overtime allegations

Updated: Friday, January 3 2014, 12:29 AM EST
I-Team: Battle Creek facing more overtime allegations story image
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Newschannel 3 I-Team is learning the City of Battle Creek will soon be writing hundreds of checks to its employees for back pay.

Over the summer, we broke the news that the Department of Labor was investigating Battle Creek's payroll practices.

They ruled the city had been paying overtime to its firefighters incorrectly for decades.

Now, Battle Creek and its firefighters are locked in litigation over back pay.

Since then, the DOL has opened its investigation to every Battle Creek city department, and now it appears the city will have to open the checkbook again.

There are approximately 370 active, hourly Battle Creek employees who could be receiving checks, plus anyone who has retired in the last two years.

Sources inside the city estimate the total payout will be in the low six figures for errors in overtime payment.

Thursday night, however, we also learned that there are also allegations of not payroll errors, but payroll fraud.

City Manager Ken Tsuchiyama says he learned of the latest payroll errors just before the holidays.

"If we're making mistakes, we're not willfully making them," he said. "If there's things we need to correct we're happy to correct them."

Thursday night, Battle Creek Employee Services assured us payroll corrections have been made to address the errors in overtime pay.

The Department of Labor says Battle Creek's payroll practices have been short changing hourly employees for years.

And now there are new, more serious allegations of payroll fraud coming from hourly employees inside City Hall.

Employees have told us and DOL investigators their time cards were consistently manipulated to reflect later start times.

"If that's the case we need to make sure that you know that doesn't happen unless there is truly an error in the time card to begin with," Tsuchiyama said.

Time cards are handled by the City Treasurer's office.

We contacted the Battle Creek City Treasurer Thursday afternoon to ask about these allegations.

She directed us to the City Manager's office.

Tsuchiyama says the Department of Labor is handling time card tampering allegations and no action will be taken until that investigation is complete.

As for the back payment due to hourly workers, Battle Creek Employee Services Director Russ Claggett says the city is supposed to have a final figure from the Department of Labor in seven to ten days.
I-Team: Battle Creek facing more overtime allegations
comments powered by Disqus
advertisement

What do you want to see?

If you have a story idea for the I-Team, you can contact us using the form below or by calling 269-388-4612.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.

Business News

Last Update on April 16, 2014 17:29 GMT

INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. factories continue to boost production.

The Federal Reserve says factory output rose 0.5 percent in March after a revised 1.4 percent surge in February. Manufacturing output has climbed a solid 2.8 percent over the past 12 months. Manufacturers produced more furniture, clothing, chemicals and aerospace products.

Higher factory output is a sign of greater demand by businesses and consumers. The gains over the past two months point to a rebound after a winter slowdown in January and December stalled growth across the economy.

Overall industrial production, which includes manufacturing, mining and utilities, rose 0.7 percent in March. In February, industrial production had expanded 1.2 percent.

HOME CONSTRUCTION

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Home builders are picking up the pace after a frigid winter slowed work.

The Commerce Department says builders broke ground on 946,000 homes at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in March. That's a 2.8 percent increase from February and the highest level in three months.

Construction of single-family homes rose 6 percent, more than offsetting a 3.1 percent drop in the construction of apartments, condominiums and town houses.

At the same time, however, applications for building permits slid, clouding the outlook for future construction.

As the weather moderated, construction rose more than 30 percent in the Northeast and 65 percent in the Midwest. But it fell in the South and West.

Applications for building permits, a gauge of future activity, fell 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 990,000.

EARNS-BANK OF AMERICA

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Bank of America says it swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by $6 billion in legal expenses.

The Charlotte, N.C., bank reports a loss applicable to common shareholders of $514 million. That's compares with earnings of $1.11 billion a year earlier.

The loss amounts to 5 cents a share. A year earlier, the bank earned 10 cents a share.

Revenue totaled $22.66 billion after stripping out an accounting change. That was down 3.8 percent from last year.

The $6 billion legal expense stems from a previously announced settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and additional reserves for other mortgage-related matters.

The bank also says it reached a settlement with the Financial Guaranty Insurance Company, as well as separate settlements with The Bank of New York Mellon, over residential mortgage-backed securities.

CSX-OUTLOOK

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- CSX railroad expects to deliver modest profit growth this year, but the impact of the severe winter will linger into the second quarter.

Officials with the railroad said on a conference call today that the improving economy and stronger domestic utility demand for coal will boost CSX's earnings in the second half of this year and in 2015.

The Jacksonville, Fla.-based railroad had said Tuesday that the harsh winter disrupted shipments and contributed to a 14 percent drop in its first-quarter profit even as it hauled 3 percent more freight. CSX estimates the snow and cold cost it 8 to 9 cents per share in lost revenue and increased expenses.

RUSSIA-ECONOMY

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's economy minister says growth slowed to 0.8 percent in the first quarter due to uncertainty over the crisis in Ukraine.

Alexei Ulyukayev told parliament today that the country's economic situation has worsened because of "the acute international situation of the past two months," as well as "serious capital flight." More capital left the country in the first three months of 2014 than in all of 2013.

The growth figure fell far short of the ministry's earlier prediction of 2.5 percent.

Russian markets have been rattled by tensions between Moscow and neighboring Ukraine, where Russia annexed the Black Sea region of Crimea in March. Ukraine has accused Russia of supporting armed militants in the country's east, where pro-Russian activists have seized government buildings and police stations.

JAPAN-BITCOIN

TOKYO (AP) -- The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo is headed for liquidation after a court rejected its bankruptcy protection application.

Mt. Gox says the Tokyo District Court decided the company would not be able to resurrect itself under a business rehabilitation process filed for in February.

An administrator will try to sell the company's assets, and many creditors, including those who had bitcoins with the exchange, are unlikely to get any money back.

After Mt. Gox went offline in February, its CEO (Mark Karpeles) said 850,000 bitcoins worth several hundred million dollars were unaccounted for, blaming a weakness in the exchange's systems. Mt. Gox later changed the estimate for the lost virtual currency to 650,000, although the exact amount is still under investigation.

Bitcoins were created in 2009 as a way to make transactions across borders without third parties such as banks.

DETROIT BANKRUPTCY

DETROIT (AP) -- Pressure is building for Michigan lawmakers to commit $350 million to Detroit pensions after the bankrupt city reached tentative agreements with pension funds and a retiree group.

The deals are tied to Detroit getting money from the state over 20 years, along with $466 million in private money, all to shore up pensions.

Retired police and firefighters would see smaller cost-of-living payments. Other city retirees would see a 4.5 percent pension cut. The $816 million vanishes if retirees don't vote in favor in the weeks ahead.

Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger says the deals are important, but he tells The Associated Press that persuading lawmakers to approve the money soon is difficult because of anti-Detroit sentiment in the Legislature.

Republicans control the House and Senate.

advertisement