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Audit: Homeland Security Employees On Paid Leave Cost $20 Million

Over a five year period, taxpayers spent nearly $20 million to pay the salaries of more than 100 Homeland Security Department employees who were put on leave. 

Between 2011 and 2015, 116 Homeland Security Department employees were put on paid leave for more than a year. They racked up $19.8 million in salaries.

The Government Accountability Office found that those employees were placed on leave for issues such as misconduct, fitness for duty, and security clearance investigations.

The GAO noted that administrative leave investigations can take a long time. One of those employees was on paid leave for more than two years while investigators conducted 50 interviews in other countries.

Of those 116 employees, more than half, 68, lost their jobs.

Fronteras Desk senior editor Michel Marizco is an award-winning investigative reporter based in Flagstaff.