Local News

City Employee Uses Durham City Credit Card to Rack Up $30,000 Bill

Posted February 9, 1999

— A long-timeDurham Cityemployee is out of a job. Her former boss says she racked up huge bills using a city credit card to spend money that could have used for parks and recreation activities.

WRAL was told the bill is estimated at $30,000. It involves a former upper-management employee at the parks and recreation department with 17 years of experience.

The money was reportedly spent on nutrition products to move the person up the chain in a sales pyramid.

This type of situation is not what Durham City leaders want to be talking to reporters about, because $30,000 is a huge credit card bill, especially when it is spent on personal items.

"The person has been terminated effective Jan. 26, 1999," explained Johnny Ford, Durham Parks and Recreation director.

The department continues to investigate, but have any city programs like the summer basketball camp been shortchanged by the apparent misuse of city money?

"Definitely no. We will continue to operate our programs and move ahead and keep the department running just like we've been doing. The programs are still moving along," said Ford.

Other city leaders are just starting to hear about it.

"I think that incidents like this are sad. It is not a good thing, and it's something that we need to take whatever disciplinary steps are appropriate. But, I think we have the right team in place to handle it," said Durham Mayor Nick Tennyson .

The city hopes to wrap up its investigation this week. The city manager says the whole thing was discovered because of a newly installed system of checks and balances.

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