Once Upon a Time
Heigh Ho, it's off to the Public Access Counselor and State Board of Accounts we go ...

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time On May 24, 2012, the Jefferson County Commissioners were presented with a $20,557.81 voucher that was already paid to Ralph Armand, former Health Dept. Administrator.This request was approved by the Commissioners and acknowledged, without reviewing the the hand written scribbles and calculations comprising the request that was also unsigned by its creator and lacked support documentation or certification by the county attorney, as required by State Board of Accounts. Kudos to Commissioner Tom Pietrykowski for truthfully admitting that he was informed that this appropriation was for "unemployment" and not for compensatory and vacation time.http://www.youtube.com/embed/PI7e_pO8BS4The Health Dept. Administrator is an exempt position and is ineligible for overtime or compensatory time. However, Auditor, Celeste Reed confirms that it was her writing that validated the request that paid Ralph Armand for 236.25 alleged comp hours earned entirely during two declared emergencies; flooding in 2011 and the Mar. 2, 2012 tornado. These hours cannot be verified in public records, but this is a fairy tale, so lets assume our Auditor can provide proof of prior authorization for the alleged hours worked in addition to the weekly salary base of 35 hours. Mr. Armand is paid now for 33.7 days of compensatory time for these two events. And the cover up continues by denying the public access to the Employee Service Record in violation of the Access to Public Records Act (APRA). Heigh Ho, it's off to the Public Access Counselor and State Board of Accounts we go ...7/25/2012 Update: Surprise, the State Board of Accounts identified several accounting anomalies resulting in this exact type of misappropriation. A slap on a wrist. Council person Laura Cash-Boldery never returned my calls or followed up on this issue as promised. Fast forward to 2016 ... the county is still unable to balance certain accounts and an investigation is ongoing with council president Cash-Boldery in the lead.Admin's Note: These concerns were presented to the Commissioners in a public meeting on Thursday, May 24, 2012. Our local paper has again shown their own media bias by failing to report on all agenda items, including this telling public discussion. 

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Misappropriations

Misappropriations Public service is a public trust and as such, our elected and appointed officials have a Fiduciary Duty to stay within the bounds put upon them (5 CFR 2635.101 (a)).According to the State Board of Accounts, the fundamental premise of segregation of duties is that an individual or small group of individuals should not be in a position to initiate, approve undertake, and review the same action. Without proper segregation of duties, it is impossible to have an effective system of internal control, which can lead to potential errors or fraud. Yet, that is exactly how our Health Department has been allowed to operate - without proper segregation of duties. According to Jefferson County Title 36: Local Government, Chapter 4, § 36-2-4-11(B), Each payment of expenses under this section must be supported by a fully itemized invoice or bill and certification by the County Auditor.The document presented by the Health Dept. or their assignee titled Final Invoice on Account of Terminated Health Administrator Ralph Armand Staff Time as of 04/01/2012 is purported to be the itemized bill supporting an additional appropriations final payroll claim for fired administrator, Ralph Armand. However, this document does not constitute a properly itemized accounting or bill for the following reasons:Hand written calculations lack relevance or citation to verifiable sources and are not signed or certified by the creator.The hand written calculations reference the addition of 7 and 14; presumably hours that have not been properly promulgated, documented or accounted for.The units of measure (Hours, Days, etc.) are NOT uniformly defined for each benefit class and are indeterminable.Time sheets or other methods of collecting hours worked and the accrual of benefit hours have not been substantiated or certified by the County Attorney per State Board of Accounts regulatory standards pertaining to severed employees.Pursuant to the Jefferson County Employee Handbook, the Fair labor Standards Act (FLSA), and The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations 29 C.F.R. § 516.700, OT/Compensatory hours apply ONLY to NON-EXEMPT HOURLY Employees.By the above references, The Health Department Administrator is a SALARIED EXEMPT position; As such, Ralph Armand is NOT entitled to OT/Compensatory Benefits. But he was paid these unearned benefits, non-the-less. Ralph Armand has been overpaid 236.25 hours at the cost of $5,036.85 in unqualified OT/Compensatory Benefits to simply go quietly away and unjustly enriched at the taxpayers’ expense. The classic fox guarding the hen house story: Mr. Armand was allowed to initiate, approve and review his own payroll claims which far exceeds the bar of the appearance of impropriety. Mr. Armand and how many other EXEMPT employees may have received unearned OT/Compensatory Benefits?The council "promised to look into the matter. To protect the public from potential errors or fraud, as a taxpayer, a complaint will be filed with the governing State Board of Accounts regarding these concerns. If our officials fail to act in an appropriate and timely manner an action to recover illegal, unwarranted, or unauthorized allowances may…

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Appropriations

Update on Request for Additional Appropriations for Terminated Health Department Administrator The Jefferson County Commissioners have requested additional appropriations (more taxpayer dollars) to pay $20,260 in final compensation and $1,500 in unemployment benefits to RALPH ARMAND, terminated on April 17, 2012.These documents were obtained from the Auditor on Friday 5/4/2012 and represented as being the complete record as reviewed, submitted and paid, subject only to the approval of the County Council. If you also have concerns or questions with the questionable documentation supporting this claim please act now.Please attend the next Council Meeting on May 15, 2012 at 5pm at the Courthouse • 300 E Main Street, Madison, IN 47250 (map) or email or call the County Council at 812-265-8944 to voice your concerns.

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Survey This

State of Indiana v. William E. Pettitt Administrative Cause No.: SBRLS 08-04 William E. Pettitt, PLS Pettitt & Associates, Inc., P.O. Box 412, Hanover, IN, 47243 Mr. Pettitt simultaneously holds the title of administrator of the Jefferson County Plan Commission and is running for his third term as the incumbent County Surveyor. Licensed in Indiana as a Land Surveyor since 1990, Mr. Pettitt has had more than two decades to perfect his trade. Instead, he has been reprimanded and sanctioned by the State for unfit practice due to professional incompetence, imposed civil penalties, and violated the terms of probation resulting in further sanctions. His probation was withdrawn in February 2012, but that does little to assure the public that history will not repeat itself. Let Mr. Pettitt know that enough is enough with your vote in November. Any survey or licensing questions or concerns should be directed to the State Board of Registration for Land Surveyors or the Indiana Attorney General  to file a consumer complaint. Alternatively, CLICK HERE to download the above documents from the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. 

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