Lack of communication and a misunderstanding of how the Salina Fire Department accounted for employees time off and compensation led to an audit earlier this year of the practice.
Last month, Fire Chief Kevin Royse was placed on administrative leave, before he ultimately decided to resign from his post. Salina City Manager Mike Schrage appeared on the KSAL Morning News Extra with a look back at the investigation – and how that issue is being handled now.
The investigation found misuse of “admin time”, also called by the fire department “admin days” or “executive leave”. By using this “compensation time”, time cards were essentially falsified to use vacation days for buy back. The audit found a pattern of this dating back at least to 2007, and probably before that. The use of this “compensation time” is not allowed per city policy, but rather was unique to the fire department.
The issue also brought to the forefront the need to update the city’s HR accounting system, which Schrage says will switch from a paper system to bio-metric software in 2022.
According to the City Manager, Salina has over 500 full time employees and numerous seasonal workers that will be folded into the new payroll system.