Inadequate Town Policies, Procedures Result in Improper Payments to Former Clayton Employee
The Town of Clayton paid a utility department employee for contract work outside of his normal duties as well as for unearned sick leave, improperly increased the salaries of the former mayor and Board of Aldermen, and failed to provide adequate oversight over Town property and equipment, the Legislative Auditor said in a report released today.
Records showed that the utility department employee worked for the Town from July 21, 2015, to October 2, 2015. During that same time, the employee contracted with the Town to perform maintenance work at municipal facilities, which could be a violation of state ethics laws.
In addition, auditors found that the Town had conflicting sick leave policies in place. Under one policy, each employee earned one sick day for each month worked. Under the second policy, each employee received 10 sick days per year. The utility department employee worked for the Town for approximately 2.5 months, but was paid for 10 sick days when he left. Based on the first policy, the audit report said, the employee should have been paid for only two days of sick leave. The extra pay could be considered a donation of public funds, which would be a violation of the state Constitution.
Auditors also found that the Town’s Board of Aldermen approved salary increases for the former mayor and for the board without following the requirements of state law. In addition, the Town failed to keep a detailed list of municipal property and equipment, and it did not require the property to be tagged or inventoried. The former mayor also acknowledged that he used some Town equipment for personal purposes, which is a violation of state law.
The audit report noted as well that the Town had 711 residents according to the 2010 U.S. Census. State law requires that municipalities with fewer than 1,001 residents be classified as a village, but the Town has not yet adopted a resolution requesting the governor to change its status. Currently, the Town has five elected aldermen, which is a violation of state law given the size of its population. Under the law, villages may have only three elected aldermen.
For more information contact:
Daryl G. Purpera, CPA, CFE