City auditor recommends Va. Beach public works director be fired


by David Ham

Posted on June 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- A Virginia Beach city auditor's report is recommending that the city's public works director be fired for abusing his power.

Jason Cosby oversees more than 800 city employees.

The confidential report was sent to the mayor and council members on May 31st by auditor Lyndon Remias.

In the report, Remias writes:

"As a result of recurring behavior exhibited by Mr. Cosby that is inconsistent with our City's Organizational Values and Code of Ethics, we recommend that City Management terminate Mr. Cosby's employment with the City of Virginia Beach. The Office of the City Auditor has conducted several investigations where we have substantiated Mr. Cosby's actions as unbecoming of a City of Virginia Beach Department Director. Because Mr. Cosby serves at the pleasure of the City Manager he may be removed at any time in accordance with Section 7.02 of the City Charter."

The report also states Cosby used his city credit card to buy a $55.00 dinner with his wife and double dipped on travel voucher reimbursement.

Additionally Remias wrote that Cosby is a high risk for occupational fraud stating in the report that he abused the city's fitness benefits and also shows financial hardship because his wages were garnished because of unpaid personal property taxes.

Cosby also serves in the Army Reserve. He just started a military leave from the city for 400 days on May 31st.

Because of federal labor laws, the city may not be able to fire Cosby while he is on military leave.

The mayor and the city manager's office would not comment on the report citing a personnel matter.

Councilman Bill DeSteph says he was caught off guard by the allegations.

"He's always been very responsive to council members and for constituent issues he's on top of it," said DeSteph.

Efforts to reach Cosby for a comment were unsuccessful.

An interim public works director is overseeing the department for now.

City manager Jim Spore is expected to meet with his staff next week on the issue.