DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. — There are questions about possible money mismanagement at the area’s largest school district, Central Dauphin.
Certain school board members allege some employees got paid for hours they never worked.
The official number remains unknown tonight, but the board estimates it could be more than a half million dollars over two years.
“It is kind of surprising. I didn’t think stuff like this was really happening,” taxpayer and Central Dauphin graduate Nofil Swati said.
On Monday, school board member and former Central Dauphin High School principal Rich Mazzatesta motioned for an independent investigation.
Mazzatesta says a confidant informed the board the district paid about 250 summer employees, like maintenance and managerial staff, for hours they didn’t work during the summer of 2016 and 2017.
“Employees were working less than 40 hours a week but receiving pay the equivalent of a 40 hour week,” Mazzatesta said.
Mazzatesta says for those two years, the employees only worked 36 hours.
In 2009, in an effort to cut maintenance costs, the board allowed the summer employees to work 40 hours in 4 days instead of 5.
“That has never changed between 2009 and 2018,” Mazzatesta said.
So the board is unsure who authorized the employees to get paid for four hours they didn’t work.
Any efforts to launch that investigation failed during Monday’s meeting after four members voted against it.
“I do not know why someone would not want to know the truth about what actually happened,” Mazzatesta said.
“People should be looking out for these things. And if not then the right people should be held accountable,” Swati added.
In a lengthy statement, the district acknowledged the schedule change from 5 to 4 work-week days in the summer.
However, they didn’t address the boards concerns that employees were paid for 40 hours instead of 36.
Board President Ford Thompson did not return our request for comment.