Review finds fiscal problems with clemency board
Published: October 11, 2013 at 8:02 am
Sloppy bookkeeping at the clemency board also means that taxpayers must pay about $27,000 to the retirement system for the state’s contributions for the members and an intern, The Arizona Republic reported Thursday.
The current and former board members had complained to the Department of Administration that they didn’t receive overtime for extra work they did to whittle down a case backlog.
The department’s resulting review found that to be true, but it also found that retirement contributions hadn’t been made by the members or the board as their employer.
The biggest payment due is nearly $12,000 from current board member Jack LaSota, a former state attorney general, for pension contributions the board failed to deduct from his pay since the 2009-10 fiscal year.
LaSota said he’s unsure he owes any money. He said his age, 71, means he falls under a state law not requiring workers hired after age 65 to join the retirement system.
However, LaSota said if he is forced to make the retirement payment, he will do so and get the money back when he leaves the board.
A former board chairman and executive director denied that the other members were owed overtime pay, but current Chairman and Executive Director Brian Livingston said the state investigation confirmed board members were not paid for work they had done.
“It clears up a lot of misinformation that had been placed out from a variety of sources,” Livingston said. “The public is now aware of how much work this board has done.”
Livingston said he was unsure how his agency would make the employer contribution to the retirement system. It might require legislative action to fix the problem, he said.
The Department of Administration says Livingston owes the retirement system $5,906, while former board member Melvin Thomas owes $5,915. They joined the board after LaSota.
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