"What’s going on out there? Where’s the supervision? Here we go again!"
Kanawha County Board of Education President Pete Thaw says he’s disgusted with the latest findings coming from the school system’s maintenance facility in Crede.
Thursday, during a board meeting, members found out about tens of thousands of dollars in overtime that employees at Crede have been paid over the past year.
"There are a lot of those workers putting in their regular time and not doing much and then they go into overtime,” Thaw said. “It’s a very calculated thing."
One carpenter for the school system who earns $39,515 a year also received $48,577 in overtime. That adds up to more than $88,000. And it’s not an isolated incident. A painter pulled in $45,000 in overtime, another carpenter $35,000.
Thaw says Superintendent Ron Duerring spent Friday trying to get to the bottom of the overtime numbers. Thaw says once it’s all sorted out, he wants to take the matter up the chain of command.
"I want to take it to the Retirement Board,” Thaw said. “These people have not given good and faithful service. They should not be eligible for retirement!"
Thaw says this all ties in with the disappearance of air conditioners, petty cash and power tools worth thousands of dollars from the maintenance facility. That’s been under investigation for three months and two maintenance employees have resigned as a result.
"If we’re not having shortages and thievery down there, now we have this huge overtime."
Thaw says at a time when the school system is struggling to stay within its budget there’s no tolerance for thieves.
"Every penny has to count. We can’t have people pulling this stuff,” he said. “Everyone has to pull together."
Thaw believes a more thorough investigation of the maintenance facility at Crede will turn up additional employees who have tried to take advantage of the system.