Texas City Employee Fired For Playing Golf While On The Clock (VIDEO)

Everyone that plays golf dreams about blowing off work to go play nine or 18 holes at their local club. 

Thomas Rivera, a utility coordinator for the Public Works Department in the city of San Antonio, made that dream a reality, and it ended up costing him his job, according to The News 4 I-Team breaking this story.

Investigators with the City of San Antonio found that Rivera played golf 12 times during work hours while on the clock.

They obtained sign-in sheets from numerous local golf courses as evidence and a Facebook post which they say proves the public works employee was golfing while he should have been working.

Jaie Avila with News 4 I-Team in San Antonio tracked down Rivera and asked him about the investigation. 

“Can you tell me how come you were playing golf when you should have been working for the city?” Avila asked Rivera.

“That did not happen,” Rivera responded.

Avila then added, “The city has a list of your tee times at golf courses and a social media post that shows where you were.”

“That was just a tag is all it was, and as far as my phone number, as long as you’re a member of the golf club anybody can use it, so my friends used my Alamo Golf Club thing to play golf,” Rivera said.

“So, you’re saying your friends impersonated you to play golf?” Avila asked.

“It’s not impersonation, it’s just using my discount, is all it was,” Rivera responded.

Rivera says his friends used his phone number and name to get a discount and he wasn’t there, he was working.

“Why would your friend post on Facebook, ‘Tommy’s here with me’ if he wasn’t?” Avila asked.

Rivera replied, “Social media. I have more posts on my Facebook that show that I may be somewhere, they say like, ‘We’re here’ and I’m tagged. Being tagged is being tagged. I have no control over that.”

“He initially denied all the allegations. When it became apparent that OMI had evidence about the golf allegation, he reluctantly acknowledged that he hadn’t submitted sufficient leave,” the investigators with the city’s Office of Municipal Integrity wrote in their initial report. 

Rivera was fired as a result of the investigation. 

Rivera claims he was vindicated because the Texas Workforce Commission awarded him unemployment benefits. But TWC told News 4 it does not investigate whether a firing is justified. The city is appealing that ruling.