Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
Part I of this series can be read at this link.
A day after the first series was published the Attorney General, according to the Shelby County State’s Attorney, has claimed: “that the allegations do not constitute a criminal offense and, accordingly, do not support any criminal charges.”
The allegations were of fraud, theft, and official misconduct. As it relates to fraud, most would agree, just as we said in Part I of this series, that getting paid for days you never even worked constitutes payroll fraud. We believe most would also agree when an auditor confirms 11,808 hours were paid out but not worked it would constitute theft. And while not related to payroll, a Sheriff selling seized weapons clearly violates the law, and only after getting caught were the guns returned. Couple that with the sheriff buying those guns from his own department along with employees being a violation of the county code, and most would see that as official misconduct.
It’s now clear there will be no criminal prosecution however people need to understand that does not mean nothing was done wrong as proven by the forensic audit. Now that the AG’s involvement is over it’s going to be up to the people of Shelby County to fix this mess.
Regardless of the AG’s decision to do nothing, we will continue to expose the payroll issues that are being ignored by the establishment.
EXHIBIT 12 – Log-In File – Log-Out File – Bob Zakowski was overpaid 161.10 hours at $23.08 = $3,718.19. He was overpaid 21.55 hours of overtime at $34.62 = $746.06. The total is $4,464.25. Bob was credited 4.5 hours comp time earned on 8/17 that should not have been. Most of the hours were worked on August 18th and he was credited 12 hours comp time for those hours on the 18th. He was not at work from October 12 to the 21st. The holiday on October 14 was not worked and should not have been credited because it did not qualify under the contract. He did not work or use benefit time the day before or after that he was scheduled. Bob was paid a full regular wage for these days with no benefit time calculated. The total comp time earned that was credited was 16.5 hours at $23.08 will equal an overpayment at some point of at least $380.82. Again these totals are only May-Dec. 2019. Bob was also credited vacation on 1/1/2019 after cashing out 8 hours of vacation on 12/14/2018. His hire date is 12/19 and therefore should not receive the vacation time until a service year is completed. This has been a practice in the Sheriff’s office for years and results in an overpayment of all employees.
Most people would agree that getting paid for days you are not working would constitute payroll fraud by those submitting the payroll with such errors.
It is our opinion that every board member that refuses to enforce the payroll policy adopted be voted out of office if they are running again. We understand several are not running so part of the problem will fix itself, provided new board members actually enforce the policies adopted instead of turning a blind eye to these problems.
As far as the one person who has been begging for accountability on these matters for over three years, the current Treasurer Erica Firnhaber, I think the former County Board Chairman said it best during a closed session of the county board.