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Fri, Mar 24, 2017 09:03 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Tape contradicts claim for back pay
by Lilly Adkins

INEZ – Accusations of extortion were made during the regular meeting of the Inez City Commission last Thursday.

Earlier this year, former city clerk Sheila Hardin and Inez Mayor Rick Penix requested on multiple occasions that the commission pay Hardin for sick days and comp time that had accumulated since 2000. But, on a tape from the February 2002 meeting, both Penix and Hardin agreed that the sick days and comp time had to be used within a month of accrual.

Commissioner Ann Maynard played the February 2002 tape at Thursday’s regular meeting.

Maynard made a motion on the tape that the commission review all time cards at each monthly meeting and asked for a second.

“I welcome that and I would like to add one thing to this,” Penix said on the tape. “All comp time shall be used within that month; it cannot be carried over from month to month.”

Hardin followed, saying, “It’s in the personnel policy that it be used within 30 days.”

“I have just shown you proof that you and the clerk both knew that that claim you put forth in 2003 was a false claim,” Maynard said. “That to me is extortion.”

“Ann, you are divulging executive session information,” Penix said.

“What are you talking about?” Maynard said. “This is an open meeting.”

“It sure is,” Penix said.

In March, Penix brought a request from Hardin to the commission in which she gave city officials an ultimatum to pay her for accumulated sick days and unused comp time or she would file a complaint with the state labor board. Hardin asked for nearly $1,300 in sick leave and unused comp time pay.

The city has made none of the requested payments.

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