El Dorado County still waiting on overpay refund | TahoeDailyTribune.com

El Dorado County still waiting on overpay refund

Mountain Democrat Report

Nearly four months after an overpayment came to light, the county remains in the dark as to when it will get the more than $28,000 back that was accidentally overpaid to exiting Human Resources Director Tameka Usher last year.

Staff with the Chief Administrative Office requested Usher repay the county during a phone call in February and County Auditor-Controller Joe Harn informed the Board of Supervisors in March of the mistake and steps taken to recoup the funds.

“On April 2, 2021, it appears that a department head’s final paycheck was overstated by $28,149 because she was paid for unused sick leave hours in violation of the Salaries and Benefits resolution,” Harn told the board three months ago. “Upon this department head’s resignation, a Computation of Final Wages Due form was prepared by an administrative technician and reviewed by a fiscal manager and an agency chief fiscal officer. The payment of unused sick leave hours was then approved by the former director of Human Resources.“

Based on the review by the agency CFO and approval of the previous Human Resources director, Ms. Usher, my office processed this apparent overpayment without a thorough review,” he added.

Tuesday Harn sent county leaders a reminder that a resolution has still not been reached.

“Occasionally, my office denies small reimbursement and pay requests from low-paid county employees because the pay requests violate county policies,” Harn explains in his message. “It is very important that the county vigorously pursue reimbursement from this highly compensated former department head. If repayment is not received soon, the Board of Supervisors will need to initiate litigation.”

Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton confirmed to the Mountain Democrat county counsel is working to resolve the matter. Ashton said he could not comment on whether staff have made contact with Usher due to confidentiality of the matter.

Usher was Human Resources Director from 2017 through 2021. According to Transparent California, the cost of her total pay and benefits in 2020, her last full year of employment with El Dorado County, was $248,404.

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