OH - First Cleveland neglects to pay bill, then pays it twice

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By CHRISTOPHER QUINN When Cleveland officials realized this year they had neglected for months to pay a $3.8 million insurance bill, they corrected their blunder.

Boy, did they correct their blunder.

They sent payment twice, mailing two checks for $3.8 million to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.

"This shows we still have some significant problems in our payment systems," said Bill Patmon, chief of City Council's Finance Committee. "We're just lucky it was to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation and not somebody who would just take off."

City officials realized in January they had neglected to send the payment, which had been due in two installments last May and September. Ironically, officials made the discovery while trying to disprove state claims that Cleveland owed millions of dollars in premiums.

Workers' Compensation officials, upon receiving the second check, immediately notified the city of the error, and city workers decided to credit the extra payment to its May bill, said Jim Samuel, spokesman for the state bureau.

Upon discovering the error, the city arranged to mail the payment. The first check was dated Feb. 14 and was cashed a week later. The second check, drawn on the same payment voucher as the first, was dated Feb. 25.


-- Doris (nocents@bellsouth.net), May 01, 2001

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