A Florida man who padded his resume to bag a six-figure job at Fort Lauderdale’s city hall is under criminal investigation by state authorities, officials said.
Broward County Inspector General John Scott released the results of an investigation Wednesday alleging that former Fort Lauderdale City Treasurer Ash Benzo embellished his resume to bag a $118,040 salary with benefits for nearly a year before getting caught in the act.
“[Benzo] knowingly made several materially false statements in his employment applications in an effort to appear qualified for the position when he was not,” a 94-page report on the investigation into the city official’s credentials stated.
The Sun-Sentinel reported that Interim Assistant City Manager Linda Logan-Short was criticized for hiring Benzo without conducting a thorough background check, especially after Benzo checked the “no” box on the part of his application asking whether his most recent employer could be contacted.
Benzo claimed he was responsible for multi-billion dollar mergers, money-making products behind companies like UPS, and pulling cities like Detroit out of bankruptcy, according to the report.
“The Deputy Finance Director did not independently vet Mr. Benzo’s employment and consulting history. Instead, she chose to ignore these and other red flags, opting to rely on Mr. Benzo’s word or on sources that he was responsible for creating,” Scott stated in the report.
Benzo resigned before the agency got a chance to fire him in December 2017, nearly a year after his start date in January 2017 because of job performance issues and questions over filings with the agency.
“Prosecutors will review their findings and make a decision on whether there was any criminal conduct,” Paula McMahon, a spokesperson for Broward State Attorney’s Office, told the Sun-Sentinel.