DeKalb County’s government allegedly misspent federal money designated for hiring unemployed or underpaid applicants when it recruited 34 candidates for firefighting jobs, according to a report by DeKalb Ethics Officer Stacey Kalberman.
Most of the newly hired firefighters were already working when they applied to DeKalb in 2014, and some of them were even employed as firefighters in other counties, the report says.
The county received $150,000 to supplement the firefighters’ pay through the U.S. Department of Labor’s on-the-job training initiative, which funds half of their salary costs for their first 90 days on the job.
WorkSource DeKalb Director Sheryl Stone responded that Kalberman’s allegations are “patently false” and based on misunderstandings of the on-the-job training program’s eligibility rules.
Her department had listed all 34 firefighters as qualifying for the funding in part because they needed a “skills upgrade,” even when they had previously worked for other fire departments in Georgia.