14 N.J. towns improperly paid out overtime, audit finds

A state investigation has found that 14 local governments in New Jersey improperly granted overtime or comp time to high-level employees.

 

The towns failed to follow an ordinance to authorize the payments, said acting state Comptroller Marc Larkins.

“In many of the instances we found that the executives themselves were the ones responsible for approving and certifying the time that was being worked,” he said Wednesday. “With limited exception, that approval and certification was not being reviewed by any other official in the town.”

The overtime totaled $195,000, but the comp time will add significantly to that, Larkins said.

“If you add in the comp time that was cashed out, if you add in comp time that gets used in lieu of vacation and sick leave, which they then are allowed to bank and cash out, the numbers are definitely much higher,” he said.

In response to the investigation by the comptroller’s office, many of the towns and counties said they’ll implement appropriate procedures for awarding overtime in the future.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.