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State Audit: Court Worker Worked Multiple Jobs While on State’s Clock

WORCESTER, Mass. (WGGB) — A state audit has found that a top aide to the Worcester Register of Probate and Family Court was working multiple jobs while on the clock for the state.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump released the findings of her audit Wednesday.  It found that the head administrative assistant for the Worcester County Register of Probate and Family Court was teaching college classes during hours they should have been in the office and not documenting their time away in their time card.

Bump says that the assistant taught 21 courses between Spring 2009 and Fall 2010 at “three institutions of higher education” while “attendance records indicated” that that person was working at the courthouse.  The audit showed that the assistant was teaching seven of those courses between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. “despite normal working hours for employees being between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.”

In addition, the assistant was teaching some of the classes at 5:30 p.m. which “would have required [the assistant] to leave work before the end of the normal work day.”  However, none of this time away from the courthouse was documented in state payroll records.

The assistant, who was not identified, is currently paid $65,391 a year and was compensated between $3,000 and $4,000 for teaching each course, notes Bump.

Bump says that the audit also showed that the assistant was only performing “a fraction of the job’s duties.”  She says that according to collective bargaining agreements, the assistant is to perform nineteen different duties including preparing the budget and acting as the court’s purchasing agent.

The audit found, according to Bump, that the assistant was only performing three core tasks: supporting the department head, serving on committees and advisory groups, and “performing low-level duties” including transferring bank deposits.

“Performing simple tasks such as punching the clock at the beginning and end of each workday is more than a mundane ritual,” says Bump, adding that, “It’s about having proper attendance system so the public can have safe assurance that their government is doing what it’s supposed to do.”

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