Friday, Dec 15, 2017
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2014 AUDIT

Walbridge overpaid 5 employees by $7,000

WALBRIDGE — An audit released Tuesday revealed five Village of Walbridge employees were overpaid by roughly $7,000 in 2014.

There were 27 pay periods in the year, but Auditor of State Dave Yost discovered the village allotted for 26.

Mayor Edward Kolanko said Fiscal Officer Patricia Crawford, one of the five employees who received extra funds, did not adjust the salaries to reflect the correct number of pay periods. The mistake was realized in late 2016.

“Local governments owe it to taxpayers to protect their hard-earned dollars,” Mr. Yost said. “That’s impossible when your internal controls come up short as they did here.”

Ms. Crawford immediately repaid the extra $1,766 she received. Council clerk Pamela Klotz was given an additional $303, and also returned the money.

“Our ordinance specifies what their salary was, and the fact they were paid, that's still not their money,” Mayor Kolanko said. “That money is from the taxpayers in the Village of Walbridge. We have to reclaim that money.”

Police Chief Kenneth Frost ($2,416) and police Officers Matthew Simon ($1,585) and Jeffery Goetz ($1,113) have yet to forfeit the excess earnings, but Mayor Kolanko said agreements have since been reached with all three.

“It took a little bit more effort to get them on board,” he said “But after multiple phone calls, letters, and requests, we're all on the same page now.”

Mr. Frost resigned in September to take another job elsewhere, and Ms. Klotz retired in 2015. Mr. Simon and Mr. Goetz no longer work for the village.

Walbridge currently has 38 employees. The annual budget is $1.5 million.

Ms. Crawford did not return a request for comment.

Contact Jay Skebba at: jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebbaBlade.

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