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Mecklenburg County begins whistleblower hotline

Mecklenburg County employees who want to report fraud or other misconduct can do so anonymously beginning next week. Mecklenburg County is contracting with a company that specializes in making sure whistleblowers' complaints remain anonymous. Employees will be able to report a concern by phone or online 24 hours a day. Earlier this year, an employee tipped off managers that two county workers may have stolen $110,000 from a charity the department sponsored. Department of Social Services Director Mary Wilson called for audits of the department. The audits concluded there were too many missing records to determine any wrongdoing and found the department had sloppy accounting practices. Several commissioners asked why no one had pointed this out sooner. The County says the hotline has nothing to do with the findings of the DSS audit. Rather, county officials say staff had been looking into options for the anonymous reporting service after a 2006 audit recommended one.