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April 4, 2013

Lake Placid village clerk placed on leave

Village looks for replacement amid apparent legal slough

(Continued)

“The employee policy manual was vague and not really uniform. We are getting there. It’s an ongoing process.”

NO CRIMINAL CHARGES

Discrepancies with McKillip’s pay drew further investigation from Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne, who was brought in as a special prosecutor to assess the case.

Champagne found no cause for criminal action.

In a letter sent to Randall in 2011, he wrote: “There exists no ability to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Ms. McKillip committed a crime at the time she secured the funds paid to her by the village over the years in question.

“I am satisfied that the past practices of the prior administrative staff of the village, as well as one mayor’s potential testimony — that she worked weekends, extra time, took very little vacation and that certain employees were told they could ‘cash in’ retirement time — makes this case not only near impossible to prosecute criminally but also somewhat problematic in a civil arena.

“Similarly, other village managerial staff has also indicated that they followed the same past practices when they requested and received additional compensation for their additional labors.”

NO WRITTEN POLICY

Champagne said the lack of policy and oversight trumped the investigation. 

“Had there been written policies of the village in force and effect at the time of the payments, my decision may very well be different. 

“Also, the poor judgment exercised by the village in having an employee (McKillip) function well beyond the scope of her original employment further complicates any chance at criminal prosecution.”

The village did not have a written policy for pay for extra duties when McKillip took over treasurer’s duties for a time before Peggy Mousaw was hired by Randall.

Randall did not reappoint McKillip to the village clerk’s job in April 2011, when her previous term ended, opting to keep her on board as lawyers discussed the overpayment dispute.

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