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Audit: Fire District Two overpaid retirees

August 23rd, 2013 - 6:44am

(Port Angeles) -- A state audit shows Clallam County Fire District Two overpaid retiring staff tens of thousands of dollars in accrued sick and leave time.

The audit shows the district overpaid three staffers about 170-thousand dollars from 2009-2011.

The auditor says former chief Jon Bugher was paid 123-thousand dollars. He should've been paid no more than 23-thousand dollars at retirement.

A retired deputy chief was overpaid by 61-thousand dollars and the district's retiring secretary was overpaid by nearly 10-thousand dollars.

Current district chief Sam Phillips provided KONP a copy of the audit this week.

He tells KONP he learned about the problems after becoming chief, and contacted the State Auditor and the district's attorney to review what had happened.

Both determined there was nothing criminal to pursue, but the fire district's policies needed improvement.

The audit showed the district had an inadequate sick-leave tracking system and employee contracts that were unclear on payouts.

Phillips tells KONP the district fixed the problems before the auditors arrived and have changed policies.

But he says the district disagrees with the report that says the retiring employees were overpaid.

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