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Richmond County schools must pay $241,000 to state retirement system

Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 8:36 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 1:51 AM
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The Richmond County School System must pay almost a quarter-million dollars to the state retirement system for allowing retirees who came back to work for the district to clock more hours than is allowed.

Between fiscal years 2010 and 2012, seven employees worked more hours than permitted while also collecting a pension, racking up $241,000 in pay that must be returned to the state, according to Controller Gene Spires. They were allowed to get less than 49 percent of the hours they worked before their retirement.

To pay the Teacher Retirement System of Georgia, the money will be taken out of the district’s $58 million general fund, which Board of Education members said is already hurting from state funding cuts and increasing expenses.

“It’s a quarter-million dollars that we don’t have,” board member Jack Padgett said. “This is scary.”

Board members approved the payment Tuesday because they said they did not have a choice and would be fined for the amount if it wasn’t paid by month’s end. Going forward, board members said they want to investigate how the oversight was made and who is responsible for allowing the employees to work excess hours.

“Somebody’s got to be held accountable for this happening,” board member Frank Dolan said. “This is ludicrous what we’re being fined for.”

The retirement system allows employees to work for their original school district part time after retirement, according to its executive director, Jeffrey Ezell.

State law lets school systems rehire retired teachers, principals, superintendents, counselors and media specialists back full time under certain conditions, but that law will expire in July.

The employees overpaid were two Title I consultants, one special education clerk, one substitute and teaching assistant, an internal audit clerk, a media assistant substitute and substitute teacher, and a clerical substitute.

Ezell said the retirement system does not have an enforcement arm within its agency to monitor school systems and relies on the Georgia Department of Audits for oversight.

Spires said the school system was audited in December, which is when the overpayment was identified.

After approving the repayment, the board tabled a discussion about a professional personnel retirement policy to next week’s meeting. Board member Jimmy Atkins said reviewing policy is not enough and more action must be taken.

“I want to know who was responsible for not keeping tabs on this, and that person has to be held accountable,” Atkins said. “I want to know the who, what, when, where and how.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The human resources committee approved a recommendation to name Alfonzo Williams the director of School Safety and Security Department. Williams is the police chief of the Waynesboro Police Department. The full board must approve the decision at the board meeting Feb. 21.

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itsanotherday1
41402
Points
itsanotherday1 02/12/13 - 11:23 pm
2
1
Alfonzo Williams

I wish he had been a resident and had run for Sheriff. He has done good things in Waynesboro.

dichotomy
31685
Points
dichotomy 02/13/13 - 12:52 am
11
1
I am just so happy to hear

I am just so happy to hear that the failed school system I am forced to support through outrageous taxes has just wasted another $quarter of a million of our money through MORE mismanagement.

If you put the Augusta commission and the RCBOE together in one room for a day they still could not come up with a workable plan for a company picnic.

And I love this......the typical outraged politican when something they are supposed to have oversight of goes wrong......“I want to know who was responsible".......Well, YOU are. We can't blame this one on Hillary Clinton......she has her own problems.

jmo
15076
Points
jmo 02/13/13 - 05:28 am
10
0
Is this the only county...

in the state that has a bunch of morons in charge? With money tight and budget cuts abound, this type of incompetence is unacceptable. Somebody should be fired (without a pension).

corgimom
30081
Points
corgimom 02/13/13 - 07:44 am
11
1
Dichotomy, I couldn't agree

Dichotomy, I couldn't agree with you more! The buck stops at RCBOE, if they want to know who was responsible- they need to go look in a mirror!

"If you put the Augusta commission and the RCBOE together in one room for a day they still could not come up with a workable plan for a company picnic." Aint that the truth!

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 02/13/13 - 09:32 am
8
0
Improper payroll management

Isn't that what got Mr Beck fired from the ARC Rec Dept? Why isn't somebody axed for this error?

seenitB4
84264
Points
seenitB4 02/13/13 - 09:48 am
4
2
It's catchimg

They evidently followed DeKalb county & learned a few tricks....how to lose in 10 easy steps.....

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 02/13/13 - 10:52 am
6
0
Mo' Money..........

Just what is an internal audit clerk(maybe someone that should have known how to crunch numbers?)? And what are all these substitutes and assistants, and in one case an assistant substitute? I have to wonder if these people knew they were "clocking more hours than allowed"................... I think I would say YES!

XXYY
27
Points
XXYY 02/13/13 - 11:38 am
1
5
Dam , Nobody blame President

Dam , Nobody blame President Obama. Around here he is blamed for everything!

Sweet son
9962
Points
Sweet son 02/13/13 - 11:40 am
6
0
Wasn't Columbia County doing something......

like this. Maybe they were smarter and could count the number of hours a retired/rehired employee could legally work!

bubbasauce
20573
Points
bubbasauce 02/13/13 - 01:47 pm
3
0
Wake up people, this is

Wake up people, this is going on across the entire country, and especially in Washington, D.C.!

resident
482
Points
resident 02/13/13 - 02:08 pm
3
1
What a waste

If you are retired from a system why are you allowed to come back and work for the same system and draw a new paycheck as if you never worked for them. This is double dipping and should not be allowed at all. There are plenty if people with accounting knowledge that should be hired.....I SAY YOUR THE ONE THAT CHOSE TO RETIRE...live with it. We need to stop wasting this...I am betting because they are paid again that they probably get to draw additional pensions...WHAT a BLATANT MISMANGED SYSTEM!!!!!!!!!!!

class1
299
Points
class1 02/13/13 - 06:25 pm
4
0
Furlough Days

This will probably cost the teachers some more furlough days due to this mismanagement of funds. Richmond County is the only school district in the area having furlough days already.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 02/13/13 - 08:03 pm
2
0
How is it double dipping?

How is it double dipping? The teachers earn their retirement. Once retired, if they return as substitutes, the school system and the students benefit greatly from that teachers experience. Why hire someone far less qualified to do the same job?

allhans
23471
Points
allhans 02/13/13 - 10:26 pm
1
0
So who knew whom. In other

So who knew whom. In other words...follow the money

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