Madison County Could Owe Sheriff's Office Employee $200K
Madison County Sheriff's cruiser
Madison County officials are working with the sheriff's office to figure out whether a longtime employee is due almost $200,000 in unused leave upon retirement.
Madison County Administrator Ernie Hoch says he noticed the financial anomaly last year. He was looking at a salary adjustment for the sheriff's office.
"The total is just a calculation that we did based on some of the numbers that were presented to us, but one of the things that we're still waiting for is really to find out exactly what the claim is," he said. "An actual claim hasn't been made to us. The sheriff's office has to let us know what any individuals are entitled to."
The county adopted a policy to cap unused leave at 240 hours in 2008, but the sheriff chose to opt his office out of that plan. The sheriff's office usually reports hours for its employees and the county then pays them accordingly.
Hoch said, "The sheriff's office has a separate policy. He did not choose to sign onto our policy, so he manages his own hours in his own time, and reports to us how much accrued leave there is each year. So we rely on those numbers on it."
The county typically sets aside about $60,000 a year in case employees leave or retire. Now, they may be facing an amount more than three times the norm.
"When we found out that this other larger liability may be looming out there, the board felt it was a responsible thing to put money aside in the event that it turned out that some or all of this money may be due," said Hoch.
Hoch emphasizes there are enough funds set aside if it is confirmed the money is due.
"It's in our budget. Will it have an effect on the taxpayers - yes and no. I mean yes, it's coming out of taxpayer dollars. It is a large amount, but it is in our budget and we have put it aside in the event that we have to spend it. So we won't have to go out for a tax increase, for example, to pay for it," he said.
The county is waiting for Madison County Sheriff Erik Weaver to provide an answer on his determination of what is due. Weaver was not available for comment Tuesday afternoon.
The county says it is working with the sheriff's office to come up with a process that will hopefully prevent a situation like this from happening again.
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