The City of Minden will begin paying lost wages and collecting overpayments made to employees of the police and fire departments.

The city council approved the measure in a special meeting earlier this week.

The move comes after an internal audit of the police and pay revealed numerous errors within the police officer and firemen’s pay.

The audit – which went back to 2006 – revealed that five officers’ raises were incorrectly calculated when they were promoted in November 2001. The error was discovered in January 2012 and officers paid back the funds monthly over a period of a year.

Also in the findings, one officer was promoted in January 2012 and received a raise that was incorrectly calculated. Because of the error, the officer was overpaid for more than three years. The error was discovered in March 2015 and the officer now owes more than $9k to the city for the overpayments.

An overpayment also occurred when an officer was promoted in December 2007. The officer should have received a raise of $90 a month, but received $180 a month, according to the city’s audit. The officer has been overpaid since December 2007 and the funds have yet to be recovered.

Other findings within the police department included errors in the yearly longevity payment for one officer where they never received his yearly longevity raise, holiday pay rate being incorrectly calculated and differences between documents and the computer system.

Within the fire department, the audit revealed the city did not include the state supplemental pay when calculating the annual longevity
raise as according to law for fire fighters. The error caused all but four firefighters to be underpaid.

The state supplemental pay was also not used when determining Fair Labor Standards Act hours, as well holiday pay, according to the findings.

One fire fighter was promoted in 2007 and the raise was calculated incorrectly. According to the audit, the firefighter has been overpaid $89 a month since the promotion.

Other findings included two firemen not receiving longevity raises for two years.

The city plans to collect all overpayments made to the employees from their date of hire.

Mayor Tommy Davis cited Chapter 7 Article 14 of the Louisiana Constitution as the reason for collecting all over payments made.

“Any overpayments made could be considered misuse of public funds so we are going all the way back to collect the money,” he said.

While the city plans on going back to the date of hire to collect over payments, any underpayments made to employees will only be paid for three years back – even if the error goes back further.

“It’s all we have to go back according to the statute,” Davis said on why the city is only going back three years rather than the date of hire to pay lost wages and cited Civil Code 3494 as the basis.

No timeline on when the payments to employees and collections would begin.

8 COMMENTS

  1. “It’s all we have to go back according to the statute.” Really??? How about doing the right thing and paying the officers and firemen the money owed to them? I mean if the city can go back for years to collect money owed to the city then why not do the correct thing and pay the people the money that the city owes them too??? I see double standards here, in favor of the city.

  2. The fact that the statute only requires the city to correct only three years’ worth of mistakes in wage payment but is requiring an employee to pay back the entire amount owed by those same mistakes is not the issue at hand here. The right thing for the City of Minden to do is go back to the date of hire and give those employees the wages that they earned in service of this fine city. To duck behind a statute is what we expect our state and national politicians to do, not the men and women we trust with the managing of this city who we shop beside at Brookshire’s, eat beside in local restaurants and worship beside in our local churches. The city officials need to take the extra step and make it all right, not just the part that brings back wages incorrectly paid. Those men and women put their lives on the line everyday so we can sleep peacefully at night.

  3. Now if that had been you or I we would be locked up on a theft charge. The people receveing the overpayments KNEW they were overpaid and kept them anyway. Where is the higher standared they are to be held to? If took $1 that didn’t belong to me I would be up on murder charges.

Leave a Reply