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March 26, 2014

Audit report details alleged discrepancies

NEW CASTLE — Forensic auditors examining Lawrence County’s vocational-technical school funds focused on overtime pay of the assistant business manager.

The audit report released by Zelenkofske-Axelrod of Wexford also notes other discrepancies with the school’s finances and tax payments for the period March 1, 2010, through Aug. 31, 2013.

The report shows Chastity Williams, 37, of Union Township, the school’s assistant business manager, claimed 2,463.5 hours in total overtime in the period covered by the audit.

The school’s director had specified in an Aug. 26, 2011, email that he must approve all overtime. The report states that Andrew Tommelleo, director and business manager at the time, had not signed any of Williams’ time sheets.

The auditors stipulated they had reviewed 49 payroll periods for Williams, except for her time sheets from July 2010 through June 2012 — a two-year span — because they could not be located.

Williams was paid for overtime in five-hour increments for 47 out of 49 payroll periods, and for whole hours for 48 of the 49 payroll periods, the audit shows.

For multiple pay periods, her pay sheets showed a range of 10 to 80 overtime hours, according to the audit report.

The report also notes Williams collected $1,250 for opting out of health insurance, but simultaneously was enrolled in the health plan and not entitled to the money.

The auditors explained that from March 8, 2010, through June 30, 2012, Williams had worked as a confidential secretary under a contract that provided an overtime rate of 1.5 times her hourly rate for all time worked over 37.5 hours per week.

From July 1, 2012, through the end of her employment as assistant business manager, her contract showed her starting salary at $47,000 and did not include overtime pay, the auditors noted. Yet from that date until she left the school’s employ Aug. 31 she was paid $37,730 in overtime, the report says.

Also according to the report, Williams completed 18 credit hours of a university course between Aug. 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013, and the school reimbursed her $38,650 as provided by her employment agreement. However, during those months, she received overtime pay of $29,037 for 785 hours.

The current director, Leonard A. Rich, pointed out the school had been paying an accounting firm, Accounttemps, to assist with its finances during some of the time Williams was claiming overtime.

(Email: dwachter@ncnewsonline.com)

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