Shelby Co. (ECWd) –
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office payroll has been under criminal investigation for some time now and we understand a charging decision is pending from the Attorney General, but we are not holding our breath as this is Illinois. That investigation involved a clear pattern of payroll malfeasance during the former Sherriff Don Koonce’s term.
The level of malfeasance was partially exposed in the recent forensic audit, although only a few names were presented in the audit, one being the son of the former Sheriff. We encourage everyone to read the article and watch the presentation found at this link.
Our review of key payroll records uncovered numerous employees receiving compensation not earned of which all are included in the criminal investigation by the Illinois State Police. One in particular is Missy Haynes, who is currently running for County Treasurer. I asked Ms. Haynes the following:
How are you going to address your own payroll problems during your employment at the Sheriff’s Office?
“Thank you for your question. During my time employed at the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office as a Dispatcher and Corrections officer I was never informed or knew of any “discrepancy” with my payroll. If I would have known of any “discrepancy” I would have worked with payroll to correct it. Can you please clarify what “discrepancy” you are referring to, and again thank you for your question”.
My follow up question that was ignored:
“So you’re confirming you are not aware of problems with your own payroll?”
She never answered my follow-up question. She also sat silent during last night’s county board meeting where I spoke about these issues with her compensation, which she could have addressed during public comment. Silence might be the best option as there is no defense to not knowing the kind of problems her own payroll had.
Ms. Haynes filed a union grievance regarding awarding of vacation time which was in fact done in direct violation of the union contract. How is it that this person has no knowledge of any payroll problem when she was a party to the grievance? Rather than follow the contract as the law requires, this person chose to take steps to circumvent the very language in the union contract as it relates to vacation time. Since she was a party to the grievance we find it hard to comprehend how she can claim she has no knowledge of any “discrepancy” in her own payroll.
If there was no “discrepancy” why file a grievance? Grievances are filed because of a “discrepancy.” Her grievance is an indicator that she was not truthful in her response because the grievance was directly tied to her payroll.
Ms. Haynes cashed out 40 hours of vacation time on 12/14/2018. This was a time that she had not yet earned because she had not reached her service year date on 12/30/2018. Missy was then credited with 80 hours of vacation time on 1/1/2019 which should not have been credited until 12/30/2019. This results in 80 hours of vacation in 2019 that was not benefit time she actually had earned or was due. This resulted in an overpayment of $1,284.00. How does a person not know receiving 120 hours of vacation pay when having only worked for the county for 1 year and 2 days is a “discrepancy” in her own payroll?
According to the forensic audit, page 5, the Sheriff’s office paid out on 11,808 hours that were never actually worked during the audit period of 2015-2020.
How could 11,808 hours get paid out that were never worked?
Only looking at one employee’s work schedule records, who happens to want to be in charge of the county payroll, explains the mechanism for which taxpayers were taken advantage of by paying for time not worked according to the records.
Ms. Haynes received pay for time not worked numerous times according to the records in the hands of the Illinois State Police. Within those records, it reflects she was paid for a full 8hr day on January 2nd, 2020, even though the log-in and log-out record that was concealed from the forensic auditor reflects she worked for 1 minute. She logged in at 11:28 and logged out at 11:29 yet received her full 8hr pay and there was no record of any benefit time taken for that day. The records prove a clear pattern of log-in-log-out times well short of 8 hours yet she was paid as if she worked a full 8 hours. We will publish these records in a future article that will include the payroll records of numerous employees. We do note that we saw a distinct change in the record-keeping and hours worked after we started asking for records in 2020 thanks to a whistleblower.
Haynes is one of at least 14 employees who were benefactors of payroll malfeasance during former Sheriff Koonce’s term.
One would think a person running for Treasurer, an office that handles millions in payroll, would understand the importance of following the contract and being able to recognize getting paid for the time that records reflect was never worked is in fact a problem in her own payroll, let alone the payroll of every county employee.
For those that attempt to say this is all political because she is a candidate for treasurer, those people need to know the problems with Ms. Hayne’s payroll were exposed to the full County Board and State’s Attorney on May 11, 2021, long before anyone knew this person was going to run for treasurer. We note the county board as a whole did nothing to address the problem even after being told, which is par for the course with a certain majority of this current county board.
Elections have consequences.