Broward County auditors reviewing Port Everglades records haven’t finished their work yet, but they’ve already uncovered numerous examples of potential wrongdoing by county employees there.
Auditors last year reported some port workers may have misused county credit cards, called P-cards, potentially involving thousands of dollars in questionable charges and leading to an ongoing Broward Sheriff’s Office investigation.
In a separate report, auditors uncovered additional problems that included:
— Port employees used port equipment for outside work off port property, using the equipment a minimum of 156 times for personal financial gain.
— Port workers failed to do required annual inspections on backflow devices on port property meant to ensure the drinking water is safe, “potentially exposing port employees, visitors, and lease holders to contaminants in their drinking water.” The devices are installed on all water connections — including buildings, as well as fire-protection and irrigation systems — to prevent potentially contaminated water from getting into a system.
— The port has more backflow-device testers than needed, seven at $1,730 each, and the ones it has haven’t been calibrated annually to make sure they work accurately.
Auditors reviewed a four-year period and said a pair of port plumbers had used the backflow testers on outside jobs, testing devices at businesses and other locations between Vero Beach and Miami at $45 a test. Auditors estimated the company it said did the work, All County Plumbing, received at least $7,020 using the county equipment.
Neither of the employees currently works at the port. One of the workers retired in 2016. The county documents identify him as the owner of All County Plumbing, Bill Woessner. The other plumber, David Moore, resigned in August. Attempts by the South Florida Sun Sentinel to reach the two by phone for comment were unsuccessful.
Moore also was identified by auditors in its P-Card investigation. County officials initially fired him, but he was allowed to resign after his union intervened.
In the earlier report, investigators said Moore made more than $18,000 in questionable charges in over a year. The purchases included 11 faucets, 11 backflow-preventer repair kits and 108 feet of red brass pipe that could not be found installed at the port or in stock there.