By ALEX MALM
A clerical oversight led to the city failing to deduct health care contributions from the pay of Mayor Frank Picozzi along with three other employees for more than a year …
By ALEX MALM
A clerical oversight led to the city failing to deduct health care contributions from the pay of Mayor Frank Picozzi along with three other employees for more than a year has been corrected according to Picozzi.
“This morning it was brought to my attention that some members of my staff and department directors who came on board at the beginning of my term have not had our co-pays for our medical coverage deducted from our weekly paychecks,” Picozzi’s Facebook post read last Thursday. “This should have begun in February of last year and it seems that it was missed because the person responsible for initiating it was out due to Covid.”
Aside from Picozzi, Liz Tufts, a spokesperson for Picozzi said that Chief of Staff Susan Nahabedian, and Finance Director Peder Schaefer didn’t have deductions for their share of the health insurance premium along with herself.
Schaefer, Picozzi, and Nahabedian all have family plans according to Tufts, with an amount owed of approximately $5,000 each. Tufts has an individual plan for approximately $2,000.
According to Tufts, Treasurer Lynne Prodger brought the issue up to Picozzi last week.
Picozzi reported last week that employees involved immediately were put on a payment plan.
Tufts on Monday said that all the employees signed a repayment plan and would be paying “double the normal premium will be deducted until paid off. If employment ends it will all be due.”
“A check is being done on all other employees to ensure this mistake hasn’t happened with other employees,” said Tufts.
In a phone call Tuesday, Schaefer said he was “sick about it.”
“It’s unfortunate, correctable,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer said that he has been working with the IT department to come up with a better system. Schaefer said that it should’ve been caught by management systems.
“I have to believe that we’ve come up with solutions so it won’t happen again,” said Schaefer.
The issue of some staffers not having their share of health insurance deducted from their pay was first raised over a year ago.
Schaefer said that last March Director of Public Works Eric Earls spoke to the personnel department saying that he didn’t have his deductions taken out for a couple of months. Schaefer said that it was paid back.
“When Eric came forward that should’ve been a red flag,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer said that he thinks that if the personnel department and the rest of the staff were in the same building which they will be when the Sawtooth building is completed then this situation wouldn’t have happened.
“If we we’re all together this wouldn’t have happened,” said Schaefer.