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Comptroller’s office still reviewing overtime issue

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The state comptroller’s office has not decided whether to proceed with an investigation into whether veteran city firefighters effectively bought others’ overtime shifts so the senior workers could pad their retirement benefit packages.

“We have not made any decision at this point,” said Mark Johnson, deputy press secretary for the comptroller’s office.

In December, then-City Manager Mary M. Corriveau contacted the comptroller’s office after determining that city firefighters were not following proper city policies when they got overtime shifts from their co-workers. At the time, Mrs. Corriveau said she did not know if firefighters were trying to increase their annual pay just before retirement and thus add thousands of dollars to their state pension benefits.

Mrs. Corriveau received an email late last fall from an unidentified person who indicated he had heard about the overtime issue while talking to a veteran city firefighter. The person wrote that the unidentified firefighter told him other firefighters were paying cash to work extra rotations in the overtime pool so their pensions could be padded.

The city manager immediately ordered firefighters to stop the practice.

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