Sunday, January 6, 2013

Publisher Requests Township to Investigate Sick Time Payout of $18,876.18 Paid to Employees

On Wednesday, January 2, 2013, Galloway Township Council approved by unanimous vote a resolution "Authorizing the Payout of Accumulated Vacation and Sick Time for Employees who have Separated from Galloway Township as of December 31, 2012." Fourteen employees are listed on the resolution for a total amount of $211,356.71. Of that, in our opinion, $18,876.18 was paid to employees who were not eligible to receive it.

Four members of the Police Department will receive a total of $138,751.82 while the other ten employees will receive a total of $72,604.89.  Wording on the resolution specifically states throughout, that payment is being made "upon retirement and/or separation" pursuant to Township Ordinance 1068 of 1991. All of the employees listed on the resolution were members of a Union, either PBA Local #77, Local 210 (Blue Collared and/or Supervisors Unit), Local 676 and/or Local 68.

The employees being part of a Collective Bargaining Unit (CBA), receive benefits that are set forth therein. When reviewing each of the CBA Contracts for Paid Leaves, excluding PBA, each of the contracts state the employees are to Paid Leave in accordance with Ordinance 1068 of 1991. After reviewing the Resolution authorizing the payments and Township Ordinance 1068-1991, also known as Section 73-8 in the Township Code, it was clear, the Township's Resolution adopted on January 2, 2013 does not conform with the language set forth in the Ordinance.

According to Township Code, employees are only permitted to receive payment of Sick Leave time if they either "Resign or Retire." The ordinance does not allow a provision for the broad term of "separation" as the Township used in the resolution.

After reviewing each of the employees Exit Interview Forms, which we have released below, there are seven employees who did not either Retire or Resign. Six of the employees were part of the Township's wide spectrum of Layoff's. One employee is still employed with the Township and only received a reduction in hours. Employee's who receive a Layoff status are able to seek unemployment benefits immediately. However, employees who resign, will have a harder time obtaining those benefits.

It is our opinion after reviewing all the relevant Township Codes, CBA Contracts, Resolution and Personnel Forms, that the seven employees who received Sick Leave Payout totaling $18,876.18, were not permitted to receive any of those benefits as they are still employed or were laid off.

We notified and requested comment from Mayor Don Purdy, Members of Council, Township Manager Arch Liston, Township Solicitor Michael Fitzgerald, Director of Finance Marilyn Dolcy, Police Chief Patrick Moran and Township Auditor Leon Costello of our findings with the Township's overpayment of Sick Leave. 

We believe the Township's inclusion of the word "Separation" in the Resolution which further allowed the authorization of these payments, is not consistent with the Township Code. If the Township opted to pay employees who received a status of Layoff, the Township would need to amend the Township's Code and each of the CBA contracts, as the contracts also state Resignation and Retirement only, not separation.

In response to our email, Councilman Jim McElwee stated, "I made a motion to table Resolution 37-13 for further review. I was told by manager Arch Liston that these payouts were in line with their Union Negotiated Contracts. Solicitor Fitzgerald concurred I believe with a nod of his head. For this reason and on their explanation I withdrew my motion. If in fact these employees do not meet the criteria for these payouts, I will request the resolution be amended at the next Council Meeting to reflect any and all adjustments needed."

Mayor Don Purdy also responded for comment by stating, "I will be looking into your findings on Monday as this is Saturday now and there is no one (sic) able to check. We on the governing body alway(s) look to rely on our professionals." All other requests for comment went unanswered at the time of publication.

We have requested the Township to immediately suspend payment to the employees until the determination is made as to whether the seven employees who received $18,876.18 in Sick Payout is reviewed for compliance in accordance with Township Code and Ordinance 1068 of 1991. 

Employees & Amounts requested to be Investigated:

Pamela Alleyne:     $1,158.87     (Planning & Zoning)
Carla Dow:     $10,000.00     (Senior Services)
Raymond Farrell:     $1,838.63     (Public Works)
Bryan Losasso:     $2.342.04     (Public Works)
Edward McClain:     $471.79      (Public Works)
Jennifer McConaghy:     $629.13     (Police Department)
Bernard Sawasky:     $2,435.72     (Public Works)

The Township previously came under scrutiny when former publisher of Harry Scheeler exposed the Township under former manager Stephen Bonanni approving Compensatory Time to three salaried employees. Although the employees did not have to give the Comp Time earned back, the Township no longer permitted those employees to receive any additional Comp Time.  One of those employees has since resigned. 

We have released our email which includes an in depth research of our findings, the Resolution Township Council adopted that is in our opinion, not in conformance with Township Code and the Exit Interview Forms of the fourteen (14) employees who received Pay Outs totaling $211,356.71. 

We will follow up with Council at the next council meeting as to the result of this inquiry for investigation.

Request for Comment on Employee Payouts

Resol 37-13 Payout Accumulated Leave
Employee Exit Interview Sheets 2012


Capt J Hook said...

Again The Working man get's screwed again ,and the crooks Take the money and run It will never end Sad these people would have never agreed to this "Volunteer lay off if this was brought to light . but this is how they do things ,tell ya one thing and do something different ,,"Worker's motto. the Right way, the wrong way, The Galloway, .

Anonymous said...

Publisher, let me quote The Shawshank Redemption. How can you be so obtuse? Is it deliberate?

Anonymous said...

Broken promises to their own employees to entice leaving employment...or outright lies...the very people who have kept the township running....hideous...beyond low..I smell another expensive lawsuit coming around the corner,,,and I vote for the employees...Mayor and Council..DO THE RIGHT THING...INTEGRITY...INTEGRITY..LEAD BY EXAMPLE....Stealing money from your own workers...yet a new low in Galloway..hideous

Capt J Hook said...

I'm sure by the end of this year Galloway TWP. will have more Lawyers than the way thing's are going here it's A Joke Don't even mention the word moral,to the Workers (One's that are left ). the Mayor's train has "Derailed".

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