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Recreation department fires 2 for bending rules

Posted: May 23, 2012 - 12:07am

Columbia County officials recently fired two Recreation Department employees after they attempted to circumvent pay rules for some staff members.

An employee disciplinary report filed with the county Human Resources Department on Feb. 20 noted that Athletic Supervisor Ken Warner and Athletic Programmer Kelvin Lampkin possibly engineered, but at least condoned, a scheme to keep from charging payroll taxes on county employees moonlighting as referees at county sporting events.

Federal law requires that employees working as paid referees for Recreation Department events receive their compensation on their regular paychecks rather than with a supplemental paycheck.

In January, county Financial Services in­formed the Recreation Department of the change in policy to match IRS regulations.

To get around the regulation, Warner and Lampkin submitted the names of at least two employees’ wives as referees, even though their husbands officiated the games, according to the report filed by Recreation and Events Manager Stacie Adkins.

Adkins wrote that their actions showed “extremely poor judgment.”

“Furthermore, his actions resulted in fraud, misrepresentation, violations of IRS policy, and violation of county financial policies,” Adkins wrote about Lampkin. She wrote a similar statement about Warner.

County Administrator Scott Johnson recently said that officials don’t intend to pursue criminal charges.

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