County Requests Audit of Sheriff Division Overtime
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz announced that Erie County (“the County”) has requested that the Comptroller’s Office commence an audit of overtime practices in the Sheriff Division and Jail Management Division. On March 11, 2013 Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychalijiw issued a report entitled “Number of Employees Costing Taxpayers Over $100,000 in Salary and Benefits in 2012”, which showed that 62 of the 106 Erie County employees (or 58%) earning over $100,000 in salary and overtime in 2012 were employees of the Sheriff’s office. Additionally, in 2012 74% of all overtime Countywide was attributable to the Sheriff, with $10.5 million in Jail Management and $2.2 million in the Sheriff Division.
“I am pleased that Comptroller Mychalijiw has echoed my earlier statements about the serious strain that massive amounts of overtime place on the County budget, and that he has also joined in calling attention to the main source of that overtime,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “While all overtime needs to be carefully scrutinized, the overtime expense in these Divisions has been particularly egregious. The Comptroller indicated in his recent report that he was placing an Overtime Audit in his 2013 Plan, and we are requesting that he join in protecting taxpayers by expediting that audit to address these significant problems.”
As Comptroller in 2011, Poloncarz issued a review of overtime at the Erie County (“County”) Holding Center and Correctional Facility after performing two audits of overtime and other costs at those facilities. The review, which recommended hiring 67 more deputies and corrections officers to cut down on overtime costs, identified almost $3 million in overtime savings that could be attained in this way. The review also noted the unsustainability of overtime cost trends within the Jail management Division, which by 2010 had risen to more than 290,000 overtime hours logged at a cost of more than $10 million.
Poloncarz continued,” As I’ve said before, overtime costs are skyrocketing and action must be taken to address this problem. The years of going millions of dollars over budget on overtime must end. With more mandated deputies and corrections officers now on the job, reducing these costs is imperative to save taxpayers money and increase the safety of both officers and inmates. I urge the Comptroller to get to the core of the issue and identify ways to attenuate this continuing problem.”