A-31168, APRIL 10, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 449

A-31168: Apr 10, 1930

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1930: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25. THE FORMER EMPLOYEE WAS SUSPENDED FOR INTOXICATION ON DUTY. WHILE THE CHARGE WAS UNDER INVESTIGATION IT DEVELOPED THAT HE HAD FALSIFIED HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS AND THE AMOUNT OF OVERPAYMENTS MADE ON THE FALSIFIED ACCOUNTS WAS COLLECTED FROM HIM. THE REMAINING QUESTION IS WHAT EFFECT HAS THE FALSIFICATION OF EXPENSE ACCOUNTS. THE FRAUDULENT ACTION OF THIS EMPLOYEE PRECLUDES THE ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION OF A PAY ROLL OR PAY VOUCHER WITH THE MEANING THAT THE SERVICES WERE FULLY AND FAITHFULLY PERFORMED. AN EMPLOYEE CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF HIS EMPLOYMENT IF AT THE TIME HE IS ALSO WORKING OUT AND PRACTICING A FRAUD ON THE GOVERNMENT.

A-31168, APRIL 10, 1930, 9 COMP. GEN. 449

COMPENSATION - DISMISSAL THE FALSIFICATION OF EXPENSE ACCOUNTS BY A POSTAL EMPLOYEE CONSTITUTES SUCH A VIOLATION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE AND BREACH OF CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AS TO CAUSE THE FORFEITURE OF COMPENSATION DUE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO DATE OF SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE POSTMASTER GENERAL, APRIL 10, 1930:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1930, REQUESTING TO BE ADVISED WHETHER THE UNPAID SALARY DUE CARL W. CARLSON, FORMER SUBSTITUTE RAILWAY POSTAL CLERK, SHOULD BE PAID TO HIM OR FORFEITED TO THE GOVERNMENT.

THE FORMER EMPLOYEE WAS SUSPENDED FOR INTOXICATION ON DUTY, AND WHILE THE CHARGE WAS UNDER INVESTIGATION IT DEVELOPED THAT HE HAD FALSIFIED HIS EXPENSE ACCOUNTS AND THE AMOUNT OF OVERPAYMENTS MADE ON THE FALSIFIED ACCOUNTS WAS COLLECTED FROM HIM.

IT HAS BEEN HELD THAT REPEATED INTOXICATION ON DUTY, THOUGH SUFFICIENT CAUSE FOR DISMISSAL OF POSTAL EMPLOYEES, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE SUCH A VIOLATION OF THE OATH OF OFFICE OR BREACH OF THE CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT AS TO CAUSE THE FORFEITURE OF COMPENSATION DUE FOR PERIODS PRIOR TO DISMISSAL. SEE 8 COMP. GEN. 443.

THE REMAINING QUESTION IS WHAT EFFECT HAS THE FALSIFICATION OF EXPENSE ACCOUNTS. IT CONSTITUTES A STEALING OF THE PUBLIC MONEYS AND A FRAUD UPON THE UNITED STATES, AND MORE OR LESS IN DISRUPTION OF THE GOVERNMENT RATHER THAN IN ITS SUPPORT AS REQUIRED BY OATH OF OFFICE. THE RECOVERY BACK OF THE PAYMENTS UNLAWFULLY OBTAINED MAY BE FOR CONSIDERATION IN MITIGATION OF PUNISHMENT FOR THE CRIMINAL OFFENSE, BUT CAN GIVE NO CIVIL RIGHTS TO A PAYMENT BY THE UNITED STATES. THE FRAUDULENT ACTION OF THIS EMPLOYEE PRECLUDES THE ADMINISTRATIVE CERTIFICATION OF A PAY ROLL OR PAY VOUCHER WITH THE MEANING THAT THE SERVICES WERE FULLY AND FAITHFULLY PERFORMED. AN EMPLOYEE CAN NOT BE CONSIDERED AS PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF HIS EMPLOYMENT IF AT THE TIME HE IS ALSO WORKING OUT AND PRACTICING A FRAUD ON THE GOVERNMENT. IN THE PRESENT MATTER THERE CAN NOT BE VIEWED AS ANY SALARY EARNED AND ACCRUING TO THE EMPLOYEE AND NO PAYMENT ON SUCH AN ACCOUNT IS AUTHORIZED UNDER THE FACTS REPORTED.