The audit reported that 18 other Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) employees received more than $200,000 in overtime pay and 90 percent of police and fire employees received some amount of overtime, the Los Angeles Times reported.
An LAFD spokesperson said overtime is necessary for the department’s “constant staffing model.” He didn’t give any details on the firefighters.
The audit found that city and fire employees earned an average of $27,737 last fiscal year and the city’s general employees made an average of $7,528.
Auditors also noted that a traffic officer received $174,348 in overtime and a Building and Safety Department employee made $152,163.
The audit “concluded that departments properly approved and substantiated the majority of sworn and civilian overtime” but added, “there is clearly a need for better oversight and regulation.”
The audit recommends reducing overtime by “exploring other employment models,” reducing overtime hours per shift and monitoring employees who earn a lot of overtime hours.
It has been sent to the mayor, city council and city attorney for review, The Times reported.
Firefighters have been battling massive wildfires that have sparked across the state in the last month, including the Kincade Fire, which burned 77,758 acres in Sonoma County at the end of last month and injured four firefighters.
Cal Fire announced Wednesday the fire was 100 percent contained.