Campbell mayor claims city wrongfully paid former police chief for overtime


Mayor Nick Phillips claimed Wednesday that the former police chief owes the city money for wrongfully collected overtime pay.

Phillips, who took office in December 2015 after beating incumbent William VanSuch, told city council he believed the city improperly paid then-Chief Drew Rauzan $17,971.49 for 443 hours of overtime during 2015 and the last two months of 2014.

The mayor said Rauzan should not have collected any overtime pay during that time because of council’s 2014 repeal of a 2013 overtime amendment to a 2003 salary ordinance.

The mayor fired Rauzan in November for alleged sexual misconduct. Rauzan denies the allegation and is appealing his termination. Police Chief Dennis Puskarcik, the mayor’s appointment, was sworn in earlier this month.

Judie Clement, who was city administrator under VanSuch, denied Phillips’ claims, saying that any overtime pay was and properly documented. “It’s always easiest to blame the person that isn’t in the room and that’s a pattern with Mayor Phillips,” Clement said.

The mayor sent a letter to Puskarcik Tuesday, asking the new chief to look into the overtime matter.

Rauzan said the city administration approved any overtime he received and that the law director had discussions with city council, agreeing that any employee could receive overtime pay for more than 40 hours per week. He characterized the mayor’s claims as politically-motivated.

“ ... the Campbell chief was always a police officer and never only administrative and our bargaining agreement requires two uniformed officers on every shift,” Rauzan said. “After every other full-time officer was offered overtime for a particular shift, then it was offered to the chief.”

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