The County Commission, by a vote of 9 to 5 Monday night, reluctantly voted to pay more than $100,000 in accrued comp time to a total of 31 employees who worked for former Sheriff Lloyd Emmons and one employee of former Trustee Bobbie Young.
The measure was approved on the second roll call vote. It failed 10 to 4 on the first roll call.
County Mayor Mike Foster told the commission that the money had to be paid by Friday, or the county could risk having to pay penalties. \" We have been meeting with the Federal Fair Labor and Wage people for the last three or four weeks. He told us we should pay these amounts by this Friday or we will be under a penalty.\"
Foster says in most cases, the employees are clearly due the money because they have the proper documentation. \"Some of them are very clear cut and we absolutely owe them. Some of them we may need to question further. Many of these people have good time sheets and need to be paid, but there are some we need to have an attorney look at.\"
Foster says three cents of the 39 cent tax increase or $115,000 has been included in the new budget to pay the comp time, yet he still wanted the commission to give him approval.
On the first roll call, ten commissioners voted against making the payment including Willie Thomas, Larry Summers, Marshall Ferrell, Jeff Barnes, Jeff Barrett, Wayne Cantrell, Randy Caplinger, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Mason Carter.
Those voting in favor were John Green, Chris Smithson, Jerry Scott, and Jack Barton.
After the vote failed, Foster told the commission while he agreed with their decision, they must face facts that the money must be paid.\" Friday morning, if we don't pay this, we will incur a 10% penalty that will incur on a regular basis. If we go to court, they told us it would cost probably $200,000 and if we should not prevail, these people would be paid three times what this amount is for.\"
County Attorney Hilton Conger agreed saying, \" The problem is the auditor has come in and he has verified it and he says you owe it. If you go to court, it's a losing proposition.\"
Realizing they had no other alternative, the commission voted 9 to 5 on the second roll call vote, to make the payments.
Those voting in favor were John Green, Jack Barton, Marshall Ferrell, Jeff Barrett, Chris Smithson, Jerry Scott, Bobby Joines, Elmer Ellis, Jr. and Mason Carter.
Commissioners voting against were Willie Thomas, Larry Summers, Jeff Barnes, Wayne Cantrell, and Randy Caplinger.
The names of the persons and the amounts owed are as follows:
Boyd Atnip- $2,947.84
Gayle Bowling- $2,840.32
Milton Bowling- $1,141. 28
Patrick Britton- $5,117.51
McClure Cantrell- $994.56
Kyra Clouse- $201.60
Mark Collins- $2,664.64
Darla Emberton- $331.52
Charles Griffith- $1,116. 94
David Hedge- $207.08
Jimmy Hendrix- $1,258.88
Bobby Johnson- $340.48
Mac Judkins- $216.10
Dana Lafever- $5,586.75
Shane Martin- $1,811.06
Chris McMillen- $1,909.55
Howard \"Butch\" Morris- $19,065.96
Jackie Ray- $560.00
Kenneth Ray- $1,052.80
Jon Slager- $3,236.10
Thomas Southworth- $978.88
Joyce Spurlock- $2,246.72
Susan Teachout- $860.16
Angela Tisdale- $1,357.44
David Ward- $3,818.38
Roger Whitehead- $1,403.03
Samantha Young- $654.08
Debra Stanley- $705.60
Talmage Young- $33,380
The total including fringe benefits comes to around $114,000.
Foster says new policies and procedures will soon be implemented to try to keep this from re-occurring. \" We're going to be using one time sheet from now on and under no circumstances will anybody be paid in the future without a time sheet except department heads that the law exempts. We'll have one time sheet that everybody signs. It will keep a running balance of comp times used and accrued and all other leaves and it will be on file in the office as required, and if someone leaves his or her employment, that position won't be filled until his or her normal salary pays for that comp time to equal it out.\"