Former city supervisor raises concerns about gift card program - New York News

Former city supervisor raises concerns about gift card program

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ATLANTA -

A former finance supervisor with the city of Atlanta says a gift card program got out of control.

FOX 5 first reported on Thursday
that tens of thousands of dollars has been spent to reward city employees who do a good job.   

Angelo Veney is a former finance director inside the Department of Watershed Management. He said that he resigned due to things that he said were irregular and perhaps improper, including the way the city handled the gift card program for employees.

The program would give employees a $50 or $100 gift card from places such as Target, Macy's and Red Lobster.

Veney said that his department never gave out gift cards more than $100, but said that he heard some gift cards worth as much as $500 were purchased by the city.

Atlanta's chief operating officer Duriya Farooqui said that she had not heard that allegation.

Farooqui has suspended the program pending an audit. She acknowledged that more than $20,000 had been spent on the program in 2012 alone.

Veney when former city water department finance chief Jim Beard became Atlanta's chief finance officer, gift cards purchased by the water department transferred to the city's finance department.

"They should have probably been retained within the Department of Watershed Management," said Veney.

Farooqui agreed that the cards should have remained in the water department, but noted that Beard is still an employee of the city.

"As long as funds that belong within one enterprise fund aren't used for purchases across funds, it is appropriate to have oversight over those," said Farooqui, who said there was no evidence that those cards were ever redeemed.

Those gift cards have been accounted for, city officials said late Friday.

FOX 5 was unable to get a comment from Beard.

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