RH superintendent#039;s sick days questioned

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 24, 2002

When the discussion turned to money, the mood became quite tense at Tuesday evening’s Rock Hill Board of Education meeting.

At issue was a resolution to pay Superintendent Lloyd Evans for unused sick days that he had accumulated during his tenure with the system.

At the April 29 meeting of the school board, the board voted 4-1 to accept his retirement as superintendent, but then voted 3-2 to immediately rehire him in the same position. Board members Wanda Jenkins and Carl Large voted against rehiring him.

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The resolution Tuesday evening requested that Evans be paid for unused sick days accrued prior to his retirement, but initially did not specify how many unused sick days he had tallied and what the daily rate of pay would be.

This drew protest from board members Wanda Jenkins and Carl Large, as well as snickers and heckling from audience members.

Large noted it was unusual for money issues not to have a stated amount of money to be paid for a specific number of sick days.

There were several other items on the agenda regarding employment and pay. All of them included a specific rate of pay and a specific number of days for which that person would be paid. The only exceptions were two summer school intervention employees whose rates of pay were listed as "per diem."

"I can’t vote on something where there aren’t figures," Large said. " When I retired, it was there."

Large also had questions about whether there were a maximum number of days that could be paid in severance cases.

"Why are you different?" Phyllis Mullins shouted out from the audience. Mullins is a regular figure at board meetings. Her children and grandchildren have grown up in the system.

Evans countered that the payroll clerk had miscalculated the number of days due him, and there was not time to put the corrected figures on the agenda.

Evans said the board was nevertheless obligated to pay him his severance money.

"How can you not vote for what’s in the contract?" Evans asked. "That gets to be a legal problem."

The resolution failed the first time it was presented. Members Wanda Jenkins, Carl Large and Richie Donohue voted against it, and members Jackie Harris and Troy Hardy voted for it.

After an executive session, figures were provided, and the resolution was presented again and carried 4-1, with Donohue voting again not to pay Evans his severance money.

When asked why he cast a second vote against the resolution, Donohue refused to discuss the matter.

Large and Jenkins indicated they were willing to honor the contractual agreement to pay Evans now that they had been provided specific figures.

Evans will be paid $17, 380.66. That figure is based on a maximum of 55 days multiplied by $316.012.

Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune