Fire department employees owe Butler County Twp. money after payroll error

1:50 p.m Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 Butler County
Several fire department employees owe Morgan Twp. a combined $2,139 after a solution to payroll error leads to more problems, according to a state audit. FILE PHOTO

Several fire department employees owe Morgan Twp. a combined $2,139 after a series of retroactive payments meant to remedy underpayments caused overpayments, state auditors found.

PAYROLL PROJECT: Search Butler County government, school salaries

A report released this week by the state auditor shows the employees were underpaid at least once from 2014 through the early months of 2017 for a combined $2,139 after the township incorrectly calculated paychecks using the wrong pay rates or number of hours worked.

The township rectified the mistakes by adding a retroactive payment to the subsequent paycheck of each underpaid employee.

However, the township failed to delete the added amounts from its accounting system, causing the excess pay to linger on the employees’ paychecks for up to five more months than intended.

This resulted in overpayments totaling $3,154.

MORE: Candidate ‘disappointed’ in Butler County GOP question on balancing home, Statehouse work

“It doesn’t instill confidence in leadership when the solution to one payroll error breeds even more problems,” Auditor of State Dave Yost said in a statement. “The township needs a thorough review process to ensure the dollar amounts are accurate on every paycheck.”

Auditors issued findings for recovery equal to the overpayment amounts listed below:

The township approved a resolution on July 18, 2017, that requires repayment of the funds by Nov. 7. To date, four employees have repaid $1,015 of the $3,154 owed to the township, leaving a remaining balance of $2,139.

MORE: Morgan Twp. finances once landed on the ‘unauditable’ list

The fiscal officers and trustees who approved the improper payments are liable for the findings if the employees fail to return the full amount.