April 17, 2014

Elyria
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Lorain County officials question sick time payout to former auditor

Mark R. Stewart / CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Mark R. Stewart / CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

ELYRIA – Former Lorain County Auditor Mark Stewart may have been overpaid by $13,560 when he cashed out unused sick time left over from his time as a county employee earlier this year, county officials said Wednesday.

Stewart, who retired at the end of 2012, was paid $18,080 for 1,000 hours of unused sick time he accumulated as a county employee before becoming an elected official in 1995. He qualified for a payout by coming back to work four hours for his successor, county Auditor Craig Snodgrass, in April.

But county Commissioner Ted Kalo said the payout may have run afoul of a rule implemented in 2005 that limits payouts to new hires – which Stewart was technically considered when he returned in April – to being paid out only for 250 hours worth of accumulated sick time when they retire or resign.

“There’s no way he should ever be paid out 1,000 hours,” Kalo said.

Kalo said he began questioning the payout, first reported by The Chronicle-Telegram on Sunday, after he and the other commissioners received numerous complaints from residents, including those they had asked to support a sales tax increase and property tax rollback that will appear on the November ballot.

He said the commissioners knew nothing about the payout, which was done through money controlled by Snodgrass.

Kalo and his fellow commissioners said they want to recoup the money from Stewart.

Read Thursday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

  • Sue

    crooks

  • Mark B

    Both of them should be charged with theft in office and fired !

  • Bruce Tennant

    thank you for following up on this commissioner, we as the public need to get these rules changed so none of this malarky happens, sick time pay outs….double dipping….yadda yadda yadda

  • JoyceEarly

    Sick time is to be used in the event you need it, because you are sick not as a retirement bonus!

    • Mark B

      This needs to be addressed on the City Level also , it is not just a county problem.

    • FoodForThought63

      If they didn’t allow you to cash out part of it, everyone would just be “sick” during the last month or two of retirement. I support the idea of allowing a partial payout of unused sick time, but it should be capped.

      • brewmaster

        Not if the sick time is wiped clean every year.

        • Larry Crnobrnja

          Exactly. No carry overs from year to year.

      • Bruce Tennant

        how about no sick time at all….with some form of long and short term disability coverage which is what a lot of private industry offers

  • levtrotsky

    and he forced many of us to fight our property tax valuations & had us to go before a stacked BOR when we asked for realistic valuations . If you received ‘ peanuts’ from them you were lucky!
    This incident proves what low character he posses!

  • oldruss

    Accumulating sick time as well as unused vacation time, along with other benefits of public employment have for years been part and parcel of the work rules that come with government employment. If Mark Stewart was entitled to the pay out under existing work rules, then he should receive the little bonus that he and Snodgrass worked out for him. But is does leave a bad taste in one’s mouth that Stewart would manipulate the system by “returning” to work for a total of four hours.
    It is ironic that Ted Kalo, who has stiffed the City of Lorain for thousands and thousands of dollars in Community Development loans through his business, Ted’s Floor Coverings, would now complain about Stewart.

  • JoyceEarly

    Snodgrass did his old buddy a solid! Remember this at election time. Good steward of taxpayer money? I think not!