Press-Republican

Local News

April 4, 2013

Lake Placid village clerk placed on leave

Village looks for replacement amid apparent legal slough

(Continued)

PAID LEAVE

“McKillip is on paid leave until the position is filled,” Leon said of the decision the mayor made before Easter.

“The mayor has contracted with Laurie Dudley, the town’s clerk, to take the minutes for the Village Board,” he said.

The town clerk holds an elected position; the Lake Placid village clerk is appointed.

Leon said Dudley is being paid $50 per hour to take meeting notes.

RESIDENCY ISSUES

Meantime, the Village Clerk’s Office is unoccupied as the Village Board sorts through residency law to see if it can open the job search beyond Lake Placid’s borders.

At the Village Board meeting Monday, Leon said they began to look at whether to amend the local residency law.

“That would open up territory from which the village hires personnel for all contractual department-head positions, including that of village clerk,” he said.

The discussion would be opened to public hearings if the board moves forward on such an amendment.

AUDIT CRITICISM

The decision to place McKillip on leave comes more than two years after payroll discrepancies were unearthed in a state audit but is apparently related to an unsolved dispute stemming from that report.

In December 2010, state auditors found inconsistencies in how village employees filed and were paid for vacation time, leave time, extra hours and unused days off.

The audit cited $111,058 in unauthorized payments for vacation and sick time to village employees, including seven department heads.

The audit found McKillip was paid $22,774 in unauthorized leave time.

CHANGES MADE

Randall took office the year before the audit and moved to secure and ratify a time-off policy for the village.

Leon said much of that work has been accomplished since.

“We’ve gone to great lengths to put internal controls and procedures into place for a large part of the problem,” the trustee said Wednesday.

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