5 Corrupt Workers Who Liked Getting Paid But Not Working
It's one thing to suck at your job because you're just plain incompetent. Jobs are hard. While we don't necessarily want our heart surgeon to mistake our aorta for a tapeworm and cut it out while we slowly blood-starve to death, in the back of our rapidly withering mind, we'd understand. We knew it was a risk going in when he explained his cash-only policy and demanded that the surgery take place in his bathtub.
But when you're a well-trained, well-compensated professional and you know goddamn well how to do your job, and you still don't because you're too busy being a lazy, greedy, conniving, corrupt asswad, then that's a totally different story. The following people are exactly that.
Firefighters Pay Other Firefighters To Firefight For Them So They Still Get Paid To Firefight While Not Actually Firefighting
Some days, you just don't want to work. I get that. You're sick, you're tired, a one-armed man killed your wife but the police are on your ass for it -- things happen. So you swap your shift with someone else, they get paid and you don't, but you get peace of mind and time to rest. Nothing wrong with that.
Everything is wrong, however, with what 13 Cleveland firefighters did from 2008 to 2010, setting up a scheme where they'd not only find other firefighters to cover their shifts for them but pay them to do so. One guy might pay another guy, say, $200 to cover eight hours of a 24-hour shift. And they weren't passing time by playing Arkham Asylum with one hand while polishing their hose with the other. Instead, they worked other jobs -- substitute teacher, construction, goat puncher -- while increasingly exhausted firescrubs covered for them at the station.
"Dammit, someone wake up Biff before he sleepwalks into the flames again."
Some of these side jobs were more lucrative than every real job your family's ever had combined -- one guy owned a construction company that regularly won big contracts with the city, and another made millions of dollars as one of the top real estate agents in the dadgum country -- in addition to the full salary and benefits unsuspecting taxpayers continued to gift them, like Santa catching dementia and spoiling everyone on the Naughty List.
So they made their money back real fast, and got credited like they were actually protecting Ohio from the flames of Hell, as opposed to quietly planning their getaway in case Satan ever decided to go Scorched Earth. One guy, working an hour for every two he sold, got credited with four training sessions he was too busy paving roads to attend. Another sub-taught while running a daycare, banking full arsonbuster pay despite working exactly one whole shift in two years. Buscemi wept.
And you do not want to piss off a man who's that good with an ax.
All in all, they sold at least 2,000 hours of work time, with Daddy Daycare selling a record 8,456 hours. Going by the "$200 for eight hours" figure mentioned earlier, he coughed up $210,400 over two-plus years because diapers and Caillou were preferable to choking on smoke and ash ... except for how Smoke and Ash Inc. drew him medical, dental, 401(k), IRA, NRA, MLB, and a slew of other neat-sounding benefits I'd love to see some day.
Finally, in 2011, internal audits exposed the scheme, and the offending firefighters were caught. All pleaded guilty to avoid jail time and, because no city wants to punish firefighters too much, lest they appear anti-heroism for even one millisecond, they were actually allowed to return to work. Plus, the city decided to eat the $384,000 they lost annually to these greedy moral-fuckers, because none of them had to pay back a penny of their ill-gotten booty.
I'm shocked they didn't get a few hundred bucks each for the inconvenience
of wasting their time in court.
One had to pay court costs, at least. So, if that's your definition of justice, then congratulations on your happy ending. For the rest of us, let's all sing along to that classic Cleveland chorus:
Lab Company Bribes Doctors In Exchange For Totally Unnecessary Blood Work
Back in 2006, the big bosses at New Jersey's Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services decided to live like rock stars, only without doing anything to earn it. But instead of auditioning for The Voice like normal wannabes, they tracked down local doctors and bribed the snot out of them. In exchange for several thousand bucks a month, the doctors would run tests, do blood work -- all the usual Scrubs shit. Then, even if the result was "healthier than Carmen Miranda's hat," they'd recommend more tests and more blood work. Naturally, they'd always refer them to the good people at BLS -- Dr. Houses from top to bottom, those! Which was technically true, because Dr. House was an antisocial, morally bankrupt asshole.
Except this time, it's the doctors proving that everybody lies.
It gets eviler. In 2010, New Jersey started getting serious about labs and doctors not forming wink-wink alliances. Because if there's one thing Jersey politicians do not tolerate, it's corruption they can't profit from. No matter, though: BLS simply founded a half-dozen puppet companies that hired the doctors as consultants, so now it wasn't bribery -- it was legitimate payment. I wanted to overload that sentence with the Chris Farley quote marks it richly deserves, but that makes it really hard to type.
This scam allowed BLS to bill for $200 million over seven years, cash that literally anybody outside of child rapists deserved more. People like BLS President David Nicoll responsibly invested their share in luxury cars, penthouse suites, private jets, and every high-priced stripper Manhattan could muster. As for the doctors, they pocketed a combined $4 million in cash and prizes -- one dapper gent received $3,300 a month, plus more sports and concert tickets than StubHub. Countless unsuspecting patients lost time, money, and blood so this guy could see Justin Bieber and Katy Perry on somebody else's ... holy shit, he actually used blood money.
He especially loved that one tune about a house of cards caving in.
In 2013, the FBI finally nabbed this band of merry Dr. Ozzes -- since then, roughly $11 million of the $200 million has been rescued and put into loving government homes. Parties have received anything from probation to several years in prison. David Nicoll and other BLG higher-ups face decades in prison, but, since they remembered to stock up on pricey lawyers along with the pricey cars and pricier women, they haven't yet been put away for a thing. Besides, if they go away, they might be unwilling to help the government track down the possible HUNDREDS of other doctors they bribed.
Yours might be one of them. Best draw your own blood from now on, just in case. Here's a guide to all the veins you should probably avoid.
Detective Spends Workdays Decorating Her Office With Quotes Instead Of Solving Cases
And now for something completely different. Namely, justice.
Cristina Williamson wanted a mental health day after several hard years of detective work. Understandable, except she took way too many of them. While at work. While not working. While faking that she was working. While crimes went unsolved and innocent people suffered.
Back in 2011, Williamson reviewed her paltry $76,000 salary -- barely enough to afford 230,000 bricks of Ramen -- and concluded putting her ass on the line for truth and justice wasn't worth it anymore. But since finding a new job is hard work, she didn't quit, opting instead for a much sneakier solution. Her boss sent her five assignments -- for crimes such as burglary, identity theft, and embezzlement -- and she closed each case in 0.0 seconds simply by not reading the email.
Like how boot camp recruits don't have to pushups if they cover their ears and go
LALALALALALALALA whenever the drill sergeant shouts.
With tons of sudden spare time, Williamson devoted herself to decorating her office with page after page of those dumbass affirmational quotes your Facebook friends slap on their walls in lieu of anything original to say. Shit like "They say what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. I say what doesn't kill me should live in fear!!!" And "Knocking me down is the easy part. If you want to keep me there, you're going to need backup!" The kind of shit a bipolar 14-year-old kid writes during one of their more manic upswings.
She probably also has a tattoo on her foot that secretly means "unending bowel movement."
The sheer power of these words (no doubt accompanied by a pissed-off Daffy Duck for no good reason) motivated her to ... continue not working at all. None of the cases went investigated, unless you count the one 38-second phone call she placed to a burglary victim. That barely-there conversation was enough for Williamson to report the victim didn't want to press charges -- thus, the case was dropped while she banked just as much bread as if she had captured El Chapo himself. Until about a year later, that is, when an actual hard-working sergeant read her microscopic phone records, got suspicious, called the victim, and found that, duhhh, of course they wanted to press charges. Almost immediately, they found the burglar, arrested and charged them, and Williamson was officially knocked down and kept there.
The most slam-dunk investigation of all time exposed the zero work Williamson had put into those five cases, and she was sacked without hesitation. She earned herself a year of probation and will probably lose her police certification. Just in case some podunk small-town force gets so desperate to stick shiny badges on warm bodies they'd actually consider hiring her for literally anything.
"Look, we may hilariously fuck up on the daily, but at least we're working when we fuck up."
Plumber Bills City For $1.4 Million In Materials, Spends Half Of It On Himself
Sometimes, like with the corrupt Jersey blood lab, bilking taxpayers out of millions so you can live a fully charmed kind of life takes tons of planning and organization. Other times, like with evil plumber John T. O'Brien, it's as simple as asking for money, getting it, and then using it to spoil yourself.
In 2012, J.T. O'Brien, who owned J.T. O'Brien Plumbing & Heating (named after obscure 12th-century Romanian sculptor Alexandru Pluminheatinosche), signed a contract with a company in New Jersey, in which he promised to overhaul the risers (metal/copper lines that connect the faucet to the water's stop valve, so more than a little important) in a housing cooperative. Basically, he was getting paid to make sure a giant building didn't drown itself like Carmen Sandiego stole it and airlifted it to Venice.
"This is the worst idea I've had since renaming that one Indian henchman Cumin Mahface."
For the project, he received $1.4 million for materials, but he didn't come to that number because he was a stalwart professional who calculated everything right down to the last penny. No, it's more like how the most believable lies are also the most detailed. Good lies also have elements of truth, because he did purchase riser replacement materials. But he didn't purchase all of them, as there was about $648,000 unaccounted for, which O'Brien apparently blew on "personal items." I can't find any sources that say what those items were, but he lives in Jersey so I'll just assume he blew it all on tolls.
Then, in May of 2013, the lie fell apart. O'Brien claimed in a UCC-1 statement (my plumbing expertise begins and ends with Lou Albano cosplaying as Super Mario, so I can only say that sounds like a mighty official document) that he had purchased all the required materials. So much for elements of truth -- now he was just serving actual shit for dinner and praying nobody questioned the taste. An audit of the room where O'Brien kept his materials revealed the shortage mighty fast, and in May of 2015 he was arrested and charged with theft, deception, and "uttering," because "being a deceptive ass" isn't proper legalese. He's currently awaiting trial while out on $25,000 bail, which he posted himself immediately after being locked up. At least he was smart enough to not blow all the money.
OK, I take it back. He spent half the money on tolls and the other half on cake.
Every crook thus far has at least had the foresight to commit their crimes while not being famous. Can you imagine how dumb someone would have to be to brazenly swindle the system when everyone knows who they are? Nobody could be that stupid, right?
Grammy-Winning Jazz Trumpeter Runs City Library System, Uses Library Donations To Fund His Jazz Career
New Orleans jazz trumpeter Irvin Mayfield has toured the world, released multiple albums, won multiple awards (including a Grammy), and his "All The Saints" program is credited with kickstarting the post-Katrina healing process. He's a master of his craft, respected by all, but he's still a jazz trumpeter, one who long ago drowned in the post-Napster muck of "all music is free" like the rest of us. So, he needs money. And what better place to get it than the giant library he ran because his best friend was secretly the worst non-crackhead mayor of all time?
This guy was briefly a hero. Problem is, real life lasts a lot longer than "briefly."
After Hurricane Katrina, Mayor Ray Nagin hired Mayfield, not as a cultural ambassador or even a guy who shouts HEAR YE HEAR YE before trumpeting Nagin's arrival like the great Caesars of past. No, he appointed Mayfield chairman of the city's public library system. What does a jazz dude and a bunch of books have in common, you ask? Presumably: "He's my friend, fuck you," says the mayor, who is now in prison for 10 years, coincidentally.
For a while, Mayfield operated his system on the up-and-up, raising up to $900,000 in donations each year and giving it all to the library in the most "bare minimum" job performance this side of a Subway worker who doesn't jerk off into the honey mustard. But then, in 2012, he made like The Brain and started pondering evil, terrible ideas. Using naught but the power of jazz, he convinced the other board members to change their mission statement from fundraising for "the benefit of the New Orleans Public Library" to fundraising for "literacy and community organizations." Like his own New Orleans Jazz Orchestra? Of course.
By that definition, a homeless busker playing "The Final Countdown" on kazoo
should get at least $50K to follow his dreams.
That year, the library got punched right in its financial dick with a mere $116,775 in funding, barely enough to keep Fifty Shades Darker in stock. The orchestra, meanwhile, got $666,000, because otherwise Mayfield might've had to fund the thing with some of his $148,050 salary. Please -- he didn't become an evil genius by being stupid.
He dialed down the greed in 2013, steering a mere $197,000 in library donations to his stupid trumpet, but it takes only one run of selfish chicanery for the auditors (and federal government) to take notice. While the investigation is still ongoing, the pressure of knowing the FBI gives zero shits about sexy, swingin' solos was enough for Mayfield to leave the library system and the University Of New Orleans, where he had been getting $63,000 a year (in addition to his six figures from NOJO, mind) to teach two classes that, apparently, nobody attended.
The only search term less popular than "Kim Davis masturbates."
Oh, and that album he won a Grammy for? Funded with $23,000 of a $125,000 public grant to run the grand opening of the Mahalia Jackson Theater Of The Performing Arts. Which only supports my long-standing belief that jazz is devil music and anyone supporting it is in league with Satan.
If you found firefighters outsourcing firefighters to be a bit dubious, wait until you check out the continent-traversing pimp in The 5 Most Hilariously Inept Explorers Of All Time. It almost puts Christopher Columbus into perspective. Almost. But we haven't even scratched the surface of ineptitude and corruption. These "brilliant" doctors must be corrupt when you consider what they did in 5 Supposedly Brilliant Movie Doctors Who Suck At Their Job.
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