Speedway bill now paid

Published 10:30 am Friday, July 1, 2016

Prosecutor’s opinion instructs auditor to write checks

The remainder of the county’s gasoline bill to Speedway has been paid following an opinion by assistant prosecuting attorney Robert Anderson.

The county auditor’s office had requested the opinion after it received Speedway bills that included charges by animal warden Bill Click following his retirement in January. The auditor declined to pay any of the bills because there were charges from someone who was no longer a county employee.

Click, who was rehired in April at the same job, contended he knew he would be rehired and kept working at the animal shelter handling payroll and euthanasias without pay. Thus, he thought using the gas card was legitimate. Click was rehired by the commissioners in a vote of 2-1 with Bill Pratt voting against the hiring.

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Later, Click paid his portion of the Speedway bill with his own money. Because of that, Click and the county commissioners asked chief deputy auditor Chris Kline to pay the remainder of the bill that included charges by other workers at the pound. That is when Kline asked for a prosecutor’s opinion on how to proceed.

“Mr. Click should not have had access to the county vehicle or gas card once he terminated employment,” Kline wrote. “In using the county gas card, the federal gas taxes were not paid. His paying off the questioned invoices doesn’t get around that fact.”

Click working at the pound after his retirement was a violation of OPERS rules that state an employee must not work for the county for two months following his leaving that position.

Kline contended if he paid any of the bills he would be condoning what he believed was an inappropriate use of the card by Click.

Now, Anderson’s opinion advises Kline to pay the bill.

“It is our opinion that you are required to pay the remaining legitimately charged balance that is owed to Speedway,” Anderson writes.

Charges of $381.31 and $386.41 were paid on Thursday by the auditor’s office.

“We needed clarification and got the clarification we needed,” county auditor Jason Stephens said. “If we see a questionable expense, we don’t pay it and seek clarification. When we saw that invoice come through, we didn’t know if a former employee was using the card or someone stole it.”