Audits: Millions in waste at DPS

DETROIT - Detroit Public Schools paid about $2.1 million a year for health coverage for people who weren't eligible, an audit released Wednesday showed, according to WDIV-TV4. A separate audit revealed undocumented inventory of 11 motorcycles, 160 BlackBerry phones and dozens of metal detection devices in the public safety department, the station reported.

The district's emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, said the district learned about the 411 ineligible dependents during a two-week amnesty period when employees could remove family members from coverage without penalty, according to WDIV. In the future, employees will have to repay the costs incurred by any ineligible dependents, Bobb said, the station reported.

The district, facing a $259 million deficit after years of overspending, may file for federal bankruptcy protection, Bobb said, according to the report.

District Police Chief Roderick Grimes said that his department will adopt inventory controls and address personnel issues in light of the public safety findings, WDIV reported. The audit showed that school police exceeded their overtime budget by about $1.1 million in the last two fiscal years, but worked, on average, one month less per year than district policies require. They also have high rates of worker's compensation, the audit found, according to WDIV-TV 4.

"Well, definitely there's been little or no controls. Anyone who says there's been a lot of controls, show me the evidence. Otherwise, I would not be here," Bobb said, the station reported.

WDIV-TV4, "DPS Audits Find Millions in Waste," Aug. 5, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Detroit's Schools are Going Bankrupt, Too," July 24, 2009