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Campbell cops will have to pay back nearly $20,000 in overpaid wages

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

By Graig Graziosi

ggraziosi@vindy.com

CAMPBELL

The city is in the process of recouping nearly $20,000 in wages overpaid to members of the city’s police department.

In July, the city discovered that eight officers had been overpaid a combined $20,000 between April and June 2017 due to accounting errors between the city and the city’s payroll company.

Mayor Nick Phillips said that finance director Yanni Tiliakos will meet with Campbell police Chief Dennis Puskarcik to discuss the matter.

“That’s where we’re at now,” Tiliakos said. “I’ll be working with the chief to sit down with each officer and figure out individual payment methods.”

Phillips said the officers would have options for returning the wages.

“They can use saved time, or they can make payments every month,” Phillips said. “So we’re going to give them options and try to make it as painless as possible, but the money has got to be recovered one way or another. We can’t turn a blind eye to it.”

After the city became aware of the situation, the officers involved in the overpayment, their union representatives and city administrators met to discuss how to proceed.

The officers’ union representatives requested that the issue go before the city council in hopes that it might allow the officers to keep the money. Council President George Levendis said that the council was in agreement with the city administration and would ultimately support whatever course of action the mayor took.

“Ultimately it’s in the administration’s hands until council returns from recess,” Levendis said. “We’ll support whatever decision the mayor makes.”

Phillips made it clear that he plans to recoup the money. “We need to do what’s right in the city’s eyes,” Phillips said. “Those are taxpayer dollars. If it was money out of my own pocket that would be one thing, but it’s not, it’s the people’s money.”