Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, penned a letter late Tuesday to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy calling for an audit of the overtime policies of all state agencies.
Reacting to recent revelations of a Connecticut Valley Hospital police lieutenant’s abuse of overtime at a Middletown mental hospital, McKinney wrote to Malloy requesting he issue an immediate executive order to audit state employee overtime claims that exceed 10 percent of their normal working hours.
The order should also require all state agencies to adopt policies and procedures to ensure that overtime claims are documented, reviewed, and verified by supervisors, he wrote.
McKinney said the governor missed an opportunity by not addressing overtime abuse in the labor agreement negotiated with the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition.
“Gov. Malloy made promises to reform government – though his actions haven’t lived up to his words. This audit is another chance for the administration to do the right thing,” he said in a prepared statement.
McKinney referred to a recent Courant article detailing the termination of Lt. Benjamin Quinones, who was fired after claiming he worked 528 overtime hours he didn’t actually work.
“The officer has been fired and his case is under review, but he still is collecting a lifetime pension of $73,800. That is just wrong,” he said.
Such cases, McKinney said, serve to undermine the public’s trust in state government and its employees.
He asked that the Chief State’s Attorney’s office pursue criminal charges against Quinones while the Attorney General seeks to recover any illegitimately paid overtime. If the lieutenant is found criminally liable, McKinney said his pension should be revoked. State police are investigating the incident.
On Wednesday Colleen Flanagan, Malloy’s spokeswomen, said the governor also is concerned with the issue, which is why he proposed reorganizing the higher education system.
The reorganization serves “to prevent high-level executives from gaming the system, and it’s the reason Gov. Malloy ended overtime compensation for any of his Executive Office employees. Gov. Malloy has charged each and every commissioner with running an agency that is leaner and does more with less, including a thorough review of the use and need for overtime pay,” she said.
Flanagan’s comment comes just two days after CTNewsJunkie reported that a higher education official has been double dipping.
Malloy’s administration learned last week of the retirement of Marc Herzog, who served as chancellor to the Connecticut Community Colleges for 11 years after serving 15 years as deputy chancellor.
However, Herzog was re-hired as a temporary worker retiree, and is collecting a monthly pension of $14,000 along with a paycheck that will amount to $80,000 if he stays on for the full 120 day contract extension. That’s about $667 per day.