INDIAN ROCKS BEACH - Who okayed the payment?
This is the question lingering on the lips of many taxpayers here.
Al Grieshaber, who came by last week trying to get a hefty $4,000-plus in vacation pay and was turned down, last August pocketed more than $13,000.
IRB officials now figure maybe that wasn't proper. Documents seem to back up that opinion.
The check dated August 17, 2006 for $13,156.33 is made out to Al Grieshaber, Jr. and amazingly is signed by . . . right! Al Grieshaber, Jr.
Marty Schless, IRB's finance officer, Grieshaber's employee at the time, is the co-signer on the check.
Probably not, but it doesn't look right, especially in light of recent discoveries that the payoff was based on an affidavit that - by any standard - is ludicrous.
So it's a sticky wicket here.
If Grieshaber did not have authority from someone in the city to sign that check to himself, it would seem he is in big trouble.
If he did have authority, who was it? It would seem that would fall to the City Commission. But the commission - at least most of its members - knew nothing about the actual check until recent weeks.
So who okayed the payment?
Who has the authority to okay it? The city clerk? Probably not. Schless himself? Doubtful. The mayor? Definitely not. The city's lawyer? Hardly.
Grieshaber went a little wild during his time in Indian Rocks Beach. His contract began last mid-February, not even a year ago.
He left January 10, last month, but substantially was not seen around IRB city hall for weeks prior to that.
At issue at IRB's meeting last week was whether Grieshaber should be paid the more than $4,000 he claimed in vacation pay. He lugged over to IRB from Sun 'n Lake where he is now continuing his adventures.
He compiled that amount of vacation compensation because he never took one day of vacation. But he was gone much of the time. He piled up way more than 500 hours in "compensatory time."
Compensatory time is something that is given in lieu of overtime pay. But in most situations, executives and top officials are not paid overtime to begin with.
Apparently this feature was in the employment contract which was approved almost a year ago by Andy Salzman, the IRB city lawyer, and the City Commission. Like taking candy from a baby.
But then, a couple of weeks ago, the whole Indian Rocks Beach story was exposed in this newspaper.
With the divulgence of what was happening out on the table there was a sea change in the IRB commission last week.
One commissioner who called Grieshaber "the best city manager the city ever had" and was pushing for a bonus for Grieshaber changed his tune.
So did one of his colleagues and falling in line thusly was the mayor, who tried to maintain a steely control, arranging, as it were, the deck chairs on the sinking ocean liner.
Now, with the horse long gone from the barn, the IRB commission is swinging into action. Going to look into that $13,156.33 check; going to look into those thousands of miles per month put on a city vehicle; going to check into expense vouchers from expenses all over central Florida.
But the question remains, and will continue to be asked -
Who okayed the $13,156.33 payment?
Who did it?
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