Lawsuit: Sanitation district is ripping off taxpayers

In Jan. 2012, the state comptroller performed an audit of the financial operations of Sanitary District 7, which provides garbage collection to 13,000 households and 950 businesses in Oceanside.

In Jan. 2012, the state comptroller performed an audit of the financial operations of Sanitary District 7, which provides garbage collection to 13,000 households and 950 businesses in Oceanside. (11/5/15)

OCEANSIDE - A former sanitation worker from Oceanside is suing his sanitation district, claiming that it is ripping off taxpayers and owes them a refund.

In Jan. 2012, the state comptroller performed an audit of the financial operations of Sanitary District 7, which provides garbage collection to 13,000 households and 950 businesses in Oceanside.

According to a state audit, former sanitation supervisors Charles Scarlata and his son Michael Scarlatta were overpaid by $800,000 in retirement benefits they were not entitled to. Those benefits were on top of six-figure salaries.

Since then, the comptroller's office says the board has done nothing to recoup that money.

The lack of action prompted Joe Samoles, a former sanitation employee, to file a lawsuit.

"I want them to know there's been a big mismanagement of funds and personnel. It's just not right," says Samoles.

Samoles' lawyer, Austin Graff, says his client believes the Scarlatas have rewarded sanitation board members with jobs, political support and personal favors.

"The reason why the collection of money was not done was because they were getting personal favors, personal gain, and colluding together to protect Michael Scarlatta," Graff says.

Charles and Micahel Scarlata could not be reached for comment. News 12 reached out to each member on the sanitation board, but did not receive any calls back.

 

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