Property Assessor Operating Fast and Loose With OUR $$?

In February and early March I had received information from the City County Building that two employees of the Property Assessors Office were working from home.

On March 19, 2014 an Open Records request from me to the PBA for the scan entry and exit records from the City County Building property of the two employees, from 1/1/2014 to current day 3/19/2014. I received those records on March 20, 2014. Also, on March 20, 2014 an Open Record request from from to Knox County Finance the pay types from 1/1/2014 to Current day 3/20/2014.

On March 20, 2014, an Open Record requested from me to Phil Ballard for on the record comments on the information that I had received. On Saturday March 29, 2014, I received an envelope by USPS mail from the Knox County Law Directors Office indicating that on the record comments were vague but they sent copies of two emails from Ballard to Dale Smith, Chief of PBA stating that the employees in question are on FMLA and concerned with HIPPA protections. However, in the email Ballard identified that one had a joint replacement and the other maternity leave.

Both employees have publicly posted on Facebook to their friends their own situations.

The one employee that had joint replacement has not entered or exited the City County Building since the day before the employee indicated on Facebook when the surgery occurred. On the 3/14/2014 pay check the employee received 15 hours of REGSYS pay and 60.00 hours of SICKLV. All indications even from later Open Record request indicate that this employee has complied with and received no additional pay other than Annual or Sick pay and has not entered of exited the City County Building.

The one employee who is on maternity leave. The notice of the birth was posted in the Knoxville News Sentinel on 2/8/2014. According to the scan entry/exit records the employee left on 1/28/2014. However, if according to Ballard the employee was on FMLA on 3/20/2014, the employee was in and out of the City County Building on 2/19/2014 2:36 p.m. until 3:47 p.m., on 3/3/2014 9:31:26 a.m. until 11:04:28 a.m., on 3/4/2014 10:34:32 a.m. until 11:24:52 a.m. and on 3/18/2014 11:47:58 a.m. until 1:40:50 p.m. On the 2/14/2014 paycheck the employee received 22 hours of REGSYS pay and 53 hours of SICKLV pay. On the 2/28/2014 paycheck the employee received 17 hours of REGSYS pay, 16.34 hours of ANNUAL pay and 41.66 hours of SICKLV. On the 3/14/2014 paycheck the employee received 9 hours of REGSYS, 62.53 ANNUAL and 3.47 hours of SICKLV. On the 3/28/2014 paycheck received

Phil Ballard has received the same documents I have since March 18, shortly after I have received them. As a matter of fact in his email to Dale Smith he states that he needs the documents.

Today, I called and left a message seeking comments from Ballard concerning the information that I had been obtaining for the past several weeks. He asked that the questions be emailed, I did that and informed him that I have a deadline of 4:30 p.m. today. He replied sometime around 4 p.m. responding as if it were an open records request it is not an open records request. But he wrote that he didn’t want to make a hasty response. Meaning he would answer in 7 days. I replied back that when he answers I will update. here are the questions for him to respond to. In order to protect identities where you read (XXXX XXXX) or (the employee) these are digital redactions, so as protect the employees from undue exposure.

1. Why have these employees received REGSYS pay during the leaves that you have personally disclosed?

2. In regard to (XXXX XXXX) time sheet 2/8 – 2/21/2014 the employee on leave by your own admission, was compensated 7.5 hours of Holiday pay. Is this Holiday pay permitted when on leave? In regard to the 9.5 work hours of 2/12 & 2/13. Is an employee on leave allowed to receive pay for working? (XXXX XXXX) did not scan in or out of the City County Building on 2/12 & 2/13. How was (the employee) able to work without being on premises?

3. In regard to the (XXXX XXXX) time sheet of 2/22 – 3/7/2014 9 hours of work is recorded. No scan records of (the employee’s) presence in the City County Building on 2/24, 2/25 or 2/26, when (the employee) is reported to have worked. How is (the employee) paid to work while on leave and not in the building? On March 3, 2014 1.5 hours is worked and (the employee) did scan into the building. On March 4, 2014 1 hour was recorded as worked and (the employee) scanned into the building. Are employees on FMLA (as you have revealed) allowed to work while on leave?

4. On the XXXX XXXX time sheet of 3/8/2014 – 3/21/2014 there are hours worked for 3/10, 3/11, 3/12, 3/13, 3/14, 3/17, 3/18. Only on 3/18/2014 did (the employee) scan into City County building. Are employees on FMLA (as you have revealed) allowed to work while on leave?

5. On the (XXXX XXXX) time sheet of 2/22 – 3/7/2014 (the employees) signature is different from the previous time sheets with the initials (X.X.) The Supervisor that signed it is (XXXX XXXX). Was the time sheet completed by and approved by the same person?

6. On the (XXXX XXXX) time sheet of 3/8 – 3/21/2014 was signed by what appears to be the same signature previously. With no initials indicating it was not (the employees) signature (as compared to all the previous 2014 time sheets) (XXXX XXXX) is the Supervisor Signature. Is this a forged document?

More information when Ballard responds.

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