Harvey mayor: Employees must prove they work for city to get paychecks

HARVEY, Ill. -- City workers in south suburban Harvey are having to prove they actually work for the city before they can get paid.

Mayor Christopher Clark says since he's taken office there's been no protocols or procedures in place, resulting in shoddy record keeping.

To address concerns of ghost payrolling, the new mayor is requiring workers show up at city hall between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Friday, to confirm they are city employees before they receive a paycheck.

The mayor says HR records are so bad, he doesn't have confidence that all of the more than 200 people on the payroll actually work for Harvey.

The mayor says employees will not receive checks unless they show up and verify employment.

Mayor Clark took over in the south suburb last week, and showed the WGN Investigates team what he describes as total chaos, total dysfunction at city hall.

In room after ransacked-looking room, city records seemed to explode out of stacks of boxes which nearly reached the ceiling. There were utility records and requests for death certificates in a stairwell closet. In a basement office, reams of records had been dumped alongside a singing Santa stuffed in a box.

Clark says he has no way of knowing which assets the city owns, for example, how many vehicles are in the city's fleet. Also, an independent audit of the city found it unclear who was in charge of handling key finances.

Clark replaced Harvey's longtime Mayor Eric Kellogg after engineering the passage of a term-limit law. Kellogg ran the south suburb for 16 years, and his name is everywhere. His term expired soon after the Feds raided city hall.

Kellogg was not charged, but two of his brothers and a cousin were among six charged in an extortion and bribery scheme in March.

WGN could not reach the former mayor for comment.

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