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Pay problems in Pasco



Cheryl Ferro has worked as a guidance counselor in Pasco County schools since 1985.

She recently learned that the school district has overpaid her since day one — and now it wants a portion of the money back.

Ferro is not alone.

A recent state audit of wages revealed the district had overpaid 17 employees by $120,998 over several years and underpaid another 26 workers by $169,807. After the human resources department confirmed the numbers, assistant superintendent Renalia DuBose sent a letter to everyone who was affected to tell them about the administration's plans to fix the problem.

The folks who had received too little money would get it all back. Those who got too much would have to reimburse the district two years' worth of the amount, the maximum allowed by state law.

"I know this was our fault," superintendent Heather Fiorentino said, explaining the rationale behind her proposed solution. "You've got to be fair."

But at least one board member is questioning whether Fiorentino had the right to offer this deal, noting it doesn't match the language of employees' contracts.

And Ferro wants to know why employees should be held financially responsible for district errors.

The matter is now slated to come to the board on Tuesday. See tomorrow's St. Petersburg Times or for the full story.

[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9:52am]


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