After the FBI, state and local police were called in to investigate how one Norfolk, Va., city worker could have possibly continued to collect salary and benefits for 12 years without showing up for a single day of work, officials have decided no criminal charges will be filed.
Jill McGlone had worked for the Norfolk Community Services Board (CSB) for 12 years as an office assistant before she was involved in an internal personnel investigation in 1998. The CSB is an independent agency created by the state and funded with state and federal tax dollars.
At the time of the investigation, McGlone was put on paid leave but her case was never revisited and she continued to collect her full $29,000/year salary and benefits.
For the next 12 years, someone -- investigators have not been able to identify who --at the CSB agency submitted completed time sheets for McGlone, indicating that she had worked. While she never reported for work, McGlone's salary continued to rise with cost-of-living adjustments and across-the-board wage hikes. No employee evaluations were ever conducted and she was enrolled annually for continuing employee benefits.
Months after the discrepancy was uncovered last May, four CSB executives and an assistant were fired or forced to resign in September. Also at that time, Maureen Woman, the CSB's executive director turned over its internal investigation to state and federal officials.
Womack was appointed to her position in early 2009, replacing George Pratt, who retired. While Womack offered few details of the scheme, Pratt told the The Virginian-Pilot that while not familiar with the details of the case, he "cannot imagine how something like this could occur."
"Every employee has a performance evaluation every year, and their increases or any changes are based on that," Pratt said.
Womack said she stumbled upon McGlone's payroll by accident while examining personnel sheets and realized she had never heard of McGlone after leading the agency for more than a year.
Now, sources say state officials do not plan to pursue criminal charges of any kind, despite McGlone collecting about $320,000 in city funds over the past 12 years, seemingly with help from someone inside the agency.
According to the Pilot, police found no evidence of wrongdoing by McGlone. Additionally, police learned that McGlone actually attempted to return to work after her suspension in 1998, but was told to remain at home.
Additionally, the former CSB employees who were fired surrounding the incident will likely also not face any charges.
"There's a difference between being stupid and doing something criminal," source familiar with the investigation told the Pilot.
State attorney Greg Underwood is expected to announce his final decision in February. In the meantime, a Norfolk city councilman says he's not surprised there will be no charges in the case.
"I was always of the belief that [McGlone] was not going to be prosecuted because she was suspended and was waiting for the Community Services Board to act," he said. "If they dropped the ball, that was on them," Councilman Paul Riddick said.
While the state's investigation of McGlone is ending, the FBI is reportedly continuing with an independent investigation of its own since a good portion of McGlone's salary was paid using federal money, city officials say. However, it is not known when the FBI's investigation will be complete.