Lawmakers push for audit of prison officers' absences - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Lawmakers push for audit of prison officers' absences

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By CATHY BUSSEWITZ
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) - A group of Hawaii lawmakers wants the state auditor to investigate alleged abuse of sick leave by state corrections officers.

Dozens of prison officers have frequently call in sick on holidays and during major sports events. That leaves others officers working overtime to carry the load.

In one of the worst incidents, an officer died after going into cardiac arrest while manning a post alone on a day when 66 officers called in sick.

A resolution introduced in the House requests an audit. It was passed by a Senate committee Monday.

The Department of Public Safety supports the resolution. Spokeswoman Toni Schwartz says some people calling in are actually sick but others are abusing the privilege.

The department spent $37 million in overtime costs over the last five years.

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