Edgar Company (ECWd) –
The Edgar County Health Department board held a special meeting Friday morning to discuss meeting times and administrative salaries. We first exposed the allegedly fraudulent documents, illegal compensations and illegal meetings in This article.
During the meeting, Oliver Smith confirmed the record he signed giving Janet Mason a raise was not accurate and the action was wrong. The minutes state that the Board of Health never met to discuss or authorize the matter, as the letter implies, and this was confirmed at the meeting. More importantly, Janet Mason was NOT the Administrator in February 2022 as she had resigned from that position in November 2021, so this is also misinformation. The claim that his salary will be $118,000.00 retroactive to December 2021 is the third misrepresentation as the board never approved this. Similar false information was found in this file concerning Monica Dunn.
A recently obtained document on this subject is even more disturbing, as if the fraudulent compensation documents were not enough.
A retro payroll document with the name “Janet” signed at the top, seems to be even more evidence of self-transaction. The retro salary claimed was to be retroactive to December 1, 2021 and is a salaried/exempt position meaning no overtime. The calculations suggest correcting the payroll for a set number of regular hours during the pay periods in question by deducting the hourly wage “rate” already paid and proposing a new multiplier based on the salaried wage which became retroactive.
Although we maintain that the whole affair was conducted illegally, we find it very telling that the retro wage applied by Mason was based on an assumed 37.5 hour work week rather than the actual hours worked and paid at the lower rate. . While we understand that if a person is a salaried employee they are assumed to be working the defined 37.5 hour work week, payroll records indicate this was not the case. During the period in question, Mason only worked 60 hours over a two-week pay period, but received compensation as if she had actually worked the 75 hours.
During the meeting, Smith, in an attempt to justify the pay increase, claimed that the administrators were working more than 60 hours one weekhowever, many payroll records indicate that this was not the norm and, in fact, most often they worked less than 60 hours per week.
Board member Scott Ingrum questioned the issue of pay and overtime and Dr Graham felt the only other option at the time would have been to hire someone else. Most would agree that it is better to hire someone who would be paid less than an administrator than to pay an administrator salary at the overtime rate. Note that the vast majority of overtime paid during the pandemic was paid to the two administrators.
Mason felt the intention from the start was for the salary to return to what it was before the pandemic. We find these statements very interesting because if that was honestly the intention, why was there such a massive increase in wages behind closed doors?
Edgar County State’s Attorney Tim Gilbert was present for part of the meeting and advised the council on certain issues regarding the open meeting law, as it is clear that past actions of some members council violated the law.
During the public comments, Mason signals to a board member the number 3, which we assume means three minutes, and the person (me) should not speak. This assumption is based on his comments when I finished talking to the council. At 59:55 minutes into the video you can see her hand gesture and at 1:07:47 is where she makes her comment three minutes after I finish speaking, Mason estimated that my comment was three minutes long. His comments are another example of a board employee not understanding that the board controls the meeting and that employees have no right to interfere or attempt to perform a board function. If the Chairman of the Board wishes to interrupt a speaker, that is his right, provided there is an adopted public consultation policy, which we understand there is not.
Another example of an employee performing a board function is when Mason confirmed that she prepares the minutes of the board rather than the secretary of the board. When I asked who the board secretary was, there was no response from the board and it appears none were elected as required by law.
As COVID is used to make excuses for much of the wrongdoing exposed, it is apparent from comments made at the meeting that some health department employees and at least one board member don’t understand, dealing with COVID or any other illness is the very work for which these employees are paid, as required by law.
- 55 ILCS 5/5-25013 (A)7. Within the framework of its competence and its professional and technical competence, investigate the existence of any contagious or infectious disease and adopt measures, not inconsistent with the regulations of the State Department of Public Health, to arrest its progression.
- (B)1. Initiate and carry out programs and activities of all kinds, not contrary to law, which may be deemed necessary or desirable for the promotion and protection of health and in disease control including tuberculosis.
When there is no pandemic to deal with, times are great. When there is a pandemic and they actually have to do the job required by law, now is not the time to make excuses to get more pay to do the very job they signed up for.
The board agreed that it had several issues to deal with and would enlist the help of the county’s human resources consultant.
Topics to be covered:
- Determine the actual job descriptions and set compensation for the current administrator, Monica Dunn, and finance manager, Janet Mason, as currently the administrator earns less than Mason.
- Determine how to fix illegal payments and their impact on FRMI, Social Security, and Workers’ Compensation, all of which have been overpaid. If not corrected, taxpayers will pay high pensions for the rest of the beneficiary’s life.
- Determine the mechanism for recovering overpayments to employees, making taxpayers whole.
Below is the video of the meeting.