Buffalo NY pays $2M in health insurance for um, er, dead employees

It must be tough being a government drone worker – you know, all that paperwork and stuff. The “Rust Belt” city of Buffalo, NY, with a population of about 270,000, has a little over 8200 employees. It has been run by democrats since the memory of man runneth not to the contrary. Not that it really makes a difference, but this story illustrates the constant, predictable, mind-numbing FAIL that is government in America today.

Mayor Byron W. Brown is not ruling out the possibility that he might push for the removal of Buffalo’s human resources commissioner in the wake of disclosures that the City of Buffalo paid $2 million for health insurance benefits for 152 dead employees.

“I’m not taking anything off the table,” Brown said today when asked about the possibility of Human Resources Commissioner Karla L. Thomas’ ouster.

The city has paid has paid premiums for 152 deceased employees, several of whom have been dead for four years, according to an audit released Thursday.

What’s more disturbing, said City Comptroller Andrew A. SanFilippo, is that officials in the city’s Human Resources Department were ordered by Brown seven months ago to tighten controls and take new steps to ferret out “systemic problems” that triggered improper payments and other glaring mistakes.

“To be honest, it’s a disgrace,” SanFilippo told The Buffalo News. “It’s a major embarrassment to the city and a $2 million slap in the face to taxpayers.”

But the comptroller stopped short of calling on Brown to fire Thomas.

“It’s the prerogative of the mayor to make a determination and assessment as to whether he feels there has to be some sort of an adjustment or amendment in personnel,” SanFilippo said. “I don’t make that decision.”

Today, Brown said he’s disturbed by the latest revelations coming from the Human Resources office.

“It is unacceptable. I will not tolerate it as mayor,” he said.
Still, Brown would not proclaim the commissioner that he tapped for the job two years ago as incompetent.

“I  think the commissioner clearly has the ability to do the job. I don’t know what has resulted in us being in the position that we’re in now. Obviously, I am not happy about it.”

“It is unacceptable. I will not tolerate it as mayor.” And yet he is unwilling to call someone on the carpet because of this.

This story also illustrates one of the primary reasons why government fails so often – lack of accountability and responsibility. Oh well, everyone makes mistakes – right? The buck stops nowhere – we just keep flushing them down the toilet.

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One Response to “Buffalo NY pays $2M in health insurance for um, er, dead employees”

  1. health insurance should only be taken from reputable companies, you really don’t want to get it from fly-by-night companies ~,”

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