By Nick Castele
Posted May 18th 2018
(PHOTO: GEORGE DIXON III)
RTA CHIEF AUDITOR ANTHONY GAROFOLI
Former Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board President George Dixon III received close to a million dollars in health benefits he was not entitled to, according to an investigation by the agency’s board of trustees.
Dixon first enrolled in RTA’s insurance policy when he became board president in 1994.
During the next 24 years, Dixon racked up $130,000 in unpaid premiums.
From 2003 to 2018, his policy paid out more than $900,000 in medical claims.
The investigation was conducted by the RTA’s chief auditor – Anthony Garofoli – and an outside attorney – Ralph Cascarilla, managing partner at Cleveland law firm Walter Haverfield.
Dixon managed to keep the policy without paying premiums because he was able to find low-level employees willing to help him, according to Garofoli.
“Mr. Dixon was the most powerful person in this organization for 24 years,” said Garofoli. “He circumvented the controls and reached around into some of the lower levels of this organization.”
Garofoli said the investigation is complete and discipline for the employees who helped Dixon is being considered according to RTA procedures.
The investigation also found that Dixon misused his company cell phone for years for personal calls.
The board has sent its findings to the county prosecutor and the state ethics commission.
Dixon resigned his position as board chair in March and has yet to respond to the allegations.
Board members are no longer eligible for healthcare insurance through RTA.