Only Action News Jax is exposing allegations of fraud and misappropriation of taxpayer money by CareerSource northeast Florida, a publicly funded non-profit tasked with finding people jobs.
Helping others is what attracted Faron Miles to work at CareerSource in 1998 after being medically discharged from the Navy.
“I wanted to help people and CareerSource gave me that opportunity,” said Miles.
But now Miles accuses his employer of wrongdoing.
“What we're doing is not forgetting to cross the 'T' or putting the dot on the 'I'. Forgetting to sign a career plan that's a mistake but what we're doing is not a mistake,” Miles said. “What we're doing is intentional. We're defrauding the government. We're falsely signing our names to something that we know is wrong and that's got to stop.”
Miles claims CareerSource committed fraud by telling its district directors to order staff to falsify time sheets, charging hours worked to the wrong programs.
“So, therefore, those dollars should be returned back to the feds and they're not,” said Miles.
Miles, who admits to signing off on false time sheets, claims the directive came from the top.
“I've taken directions and taken directions over the years knowing that it's wrong but finally I had to come out and say, enough,” Miles said.
Action News Jax took these claims to CareerSource Northeast Florida. They wouldn’t go on camera but a spokesperson sent a statement:
“We take matters of fiscal responsibility very seriously and our organization has a long record of clean financial audits. This employee has also made allegations to the inspector general of the department of economic opportunity. Their office is investigating, and we are cooperating fully with the investigation. Until that process is complete, we will not be making a statement on the issue.”
“You knew about this falsely recording of time for how long?” Lorena Inclán asked.
“I would say at least 2008-2009,” said Miles.
“Why didn't you speak up then?” asked Inclán.
“Well, like most people, they fear their jobs and for the longest time I, like many, were the breadwinners of the family,” said Miles.
Miles officially retires from CareerSource on Friday but not because he wants to. He believes he’s being forced out by the agency after speaking out.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity also sent Action News Jax the following statement:
“The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Office of the Inspector General has opened an investigation into a recent complaint filed against CareerSource NorthEast. We are committed to executing a full and thorough investigation and we will hold any failure to act ethically and responsibly, fully accountable. The Department expects all workforce development boards to comply with state and federal funding requirements and act in the best interest of the families they serve.”
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