HR Commissioner tells Mayor: "You should be ashamed of yourself."

November 5, 2010 Updated Nov 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

November 5, 2010 Updated Nov 5, 2010 at 5:43 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) -- Mayor Byron Brown claims that he told Human Resources Commissioner Karla Thomas to obtain a master death index from the Social Security Administration following a December 2009 audit. He claims that she didn't follow his orders and that mistake cost Buffalo taxpayers 2 million dollars. The Mayor testifying today that 800-thousand dollars of that may never be recouped from families who improperly received health benefits.
Mayor Byron Brown also testified that other than January 11th memo he had never followed up with Thomas either verbally or in writing to see if she had obtained the death index because the Mayor "expected his directives to be followed."
Not long into Mayor Brown's testimony today, Thomas was lashing out at her employer. "you should be ashamed of yourself." Thomas then apologized for the outburst.
The hearing will continue Monday. After the hearing officer makes a recommendation, the mayor has final say over Thomas' termination. She is is still being paid her 91,000 dollar salary while this hearing continues.
The city is just starting to receive bills for its legal defense, and an exact total wasn't available Friday evening.