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Report: Overtime shorting W.Va. health program

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm •  Published: February 11, 2013
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The audit found five other state employees who reaped six-figure amounts beyond their salaries. Three are health professionals at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital, each receiving between $124,000 and $172,000, while another was a plumber at the Huntington hospital and received $100,701, auditors said. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Resources, which oversees the Bateman hospital, did not immediately respond to a Monday request for comment.

Of the others in the overtime pool, 33 received between $25,000 and just under $35,000.

"If you have someone making $30,000 a year in overtime, that really should be included in calculating their PEIA premiums," Allred said.

Some of the hefty overtime payouts may reflect staff shortages in some agencies, lawmakers noted. Agencies requiring employees to work overtime include the Regional Jail and Correctional Facility Authority. The latter is also among the 64 agencies that paid out at least $5,000 in overtime to one or more employees last budget year.

Several lawmakers expressed surprise that salaried employees have been paid overtime. Senate Finance Chairman Roman Prezioso, D-Marion, questioned whether the overtime is counted toward state pensions, which are based on final salaries and years of service. Allred said the Consolidated Public Retirement Board tracks overtime to calculate benefits.

"The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing," Prezioso said, contrasting the retirement board with PEIA.

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