Another payday at the District's summer jobs program ticks by today, this time with more than 3,000 fewer people on the rolls, yielding a savings of more than $1 million, city officials reported today.
That meant 18,000 people were paid instead of the more than 21,000 from two weeks ago.
The reduction isn't quite as many as was promised when cuts were announced on Tuesday. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) said then that about 5,000 people wouldn't be getting paid today to produce a more accurate reflection of the payroll.
The overestimation came from counting some people in more than one category of ineligibility, said Kevin Donahue, a Fenty aide who oversaw an investigation into the program.
"The Summer Youth Program has not been managed or administered the way the residents of the District of Columbia expect," Fenty said during the news conference.
People cut from today's payday were clear cases of ineligibility and absenteeism, Fenty aides said.
They "really knew they should not have been part of the program," Donahue said.
Some were too young or too old for the program, which accepts 14- to 21-year-olds -- including about five who were over 50. Some people had never shown up to work; others had been fired. And some people's Social Security numbers were entered into the system more than once, suggesting that they had been getting paid twice, Donahue said.
"We have a high degree of confidence that there was knowing fraud," he said, and noted that all of the information has been turned over to the District's inspector general, who is conducting his own investigation of the program, and who might press charges against some people when he concludes his inquiry.
More people might be cut from the program at the next pay period, Donahue said, though no cutbacks will be the size of this one. Donahue pointed to 200 non-D.C. residents as possible candidates for a cut, but said that some might have been eligible for the program if they originally lived in the District but had been placed in foster care outside the boundaries.