TV Drama: Investigation underway at Miami-Dade County’s television station

WSVN — There’s a TV drama unfolding at Miami-Dade County’s television station, and it involves an investigation into claims that taxpayer dollars have been wasted. Carmel Cafiero is on the case.

Miami-Dade TV produces everything from informational videos to short stories and broadcasting County Commission meetings, but now MDTV is starring in its own reality show with allegations, a resignation and an investigation. 

This employee, who asked we not show his face, has accused county coworkers of slacking on taxpayer time. 

Employee: "They were spending a lot of time just sitting around, watching TV, watching movies on their iPads, shopping online."

The employee says a computer program used to track assignments at the TV station backs up his claims. After he complained, he says coworkers made up projects to plug into the program.

In this box, he says there should be a detailed explanation of what the job entailed.

Employee: "I was finding assignments where it’s empty, empty, empty. I believe it was done to justify their work, now that they needed to show that they are working."
 
The station’s executive producer, Carol Higgins, made more than $100,000 a year before she resigned three weeks ago. 

7News has learned she’s being investigated for claims she worked private freelance jobs on county time. The department’s new director confirmed the investigation, but would not discuss specifics.  

Inson Kim, Communications Department Director: "There were some serious allegations made, and what I can tell you is that they are currently being investigated."
      
This is not the first time the station has been in trouble. Two years ago, county officials shut down the production of holiday videos that included parodies of popular music videos and commercials after criticism that they were a waste of money and an inappropriate use of county resources.  

Now county officials say it’s time for more changes. 

Mike Hernandez, Office of Miami-Dade County Mayor: "We weren’t pleased with the direction of the department prior to the changed in leadership. Rest assured, taxpayer dollars are not to be played with. They are to be used for the purposes that taxpayers expect them to be used for."

Meanwhile, the county is expected to report the results of its investigation and any action taken to the inspector general. Carmel Cafiero, 7News. 

IF YOU HAVE A STORY FOR CARMEL TO INVESTIGATE:

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E-mail: clue@wsvn.com
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