Mayor Holland to discuss KCK Fire Department shift-trading study - KCTV5 News

Mayor Holland to discuss KCK Fire Department shift-trading study at City Hall meeting

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The Unified Government of Wyandotte County is again in conflict with the Kansas City, KS. Fire Department. 

A new study recently released by the UG accuses firefighters of getting paid under the table for work and others getting paid without working at all. 

The report claims $920,000 was paid by taxpayers for work that never happened.

"They’re using this system, this selling of shifts, in order to put money in their own pockets," said Unified Government Mayor/CEO Mark Holland. "And that is the definition of corruption."

The issue at hand is trading shifts, a process that isn't uncommon but may differ depending on departments. In KCK, if a shift is traded, the understanding is the trade will be given back and the assigned person still gets paid. 

However, the report claims that one trade is happening and the other never took place. 

"You have people working non stop, being paid under the table," Holland said. "Ray Lopez is the perfect example. He worked over 3,000 shifts. I doubt he worked those for free. Any reasonable person knows he took money to work those 3000 extra hours." 

Eleven firefighters received more than $10,000 for hours they never worked, according to the study. The highest amount paid out was $64,000 to one captain. 

The study also points out a staffing problem. 

It says that 20 to 25 percent of fire trucks are staffed with fatigued personnel, causing a liability for the city and a big question for safety. 

The fire department wouldn't respond to specific questions about the issue, simply saying operations will be evaluated by Interim Fire Chief Kevin Shirley.

Holland will discuss the study during a meeting at City Hall on Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with Holland holding an open discussion at the end of his presentation.

For those who cannot attend the meeting, it will be streamed on the Unified Government of Wyandotte County's Youtube channel.

To read the study, click here.

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