Human error delays City of Fort Worth employee payroll deposits

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on January 4, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 4 at 11:32 PM

FORT WORTH - Fort City officials now say employee payroll checks will not go into bank accounts this afternoon afterall, as was hoped.  

Fort Worth city employees woke up Friday morning to find their pay was not deposited into their accounts. Now, city officials say it could take an extra day for workers to get paid.

"A friend called me and told me about it," said public works employee James Morgan. "I thought he was kidding."

Fort Worth city officials wish it was just a bad joke. Payday with no pay for every city employee: Clerks, cops, fire fighters... and the city spokesman, Bill Begley.

"It was normally done Thursday night. It wasn't taken care of," Begley said. "First thing Friday morning, we find out about it. Start taking steps to rectify it."

The city did not authorize the dispersal of funds with Chase Bank on Thursday, as it normally does. City officials blame human error and said steps were under way to quickly fund accounts and put safety measures in place to prevent future glitches.

"It's just an administrative error," Begley said. "And right now we're focused more on making sure employees get the money they've earned."

That's about $12 million for nearly 7,000 employees. The good news is, roughly half of them use the Fort Worth City Credit Union, which agreed to cover payments and remove any overdraft charges -- basically fronting the money.

"We're very sorry it happened and inconvenienced anybody. And we're putting in place policies so nothing like this will happen again," Mayor Betsy Price said.

She said the city is contacting banks, and hopes they all show some understanding.  Workers who bank with Chase, the city's bank, could see their deposits Saturday. But according to the city website, it could be Monday for some employees.

Most city employees told News 8 they're not angry or worried. But some are concerned about late fees for mortgage or credit card payments scheduled for Friday.

Meanwhile, the mayor wants to shoot down one rumor that made the rounds early Friday.

"The city is not broke," she said. "Far from it."

City officials promise a thorough investigation to find the cause of the problem and make sure it never happens again.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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