Former sheriff Jody Greene pulls $170,000 payout request ahead of commissioners meeting
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Jody Greene, former sheriff and now sheriff-elect of Columbus County, asked the county to pay him $170,000. Then, just before the county commissioners met Monday, he pulled back on that request.
Greene initially requested the money for 2,400 hours of compensatory time, 184 banked holidays, and 11 administrative hours. The comp time alone added up to 60 work weeks — more than one year of accrued time.
Under federal law, Greene is considered an “exempt employee.” The county’s interim finance director Melanie Hester noted in the commissioners’ agenda that Greene was considered an exempt employee and went on to state that exempt employees are not entitled to these benefits.
It’s unclear why Greene pulled his request. Greene was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting and did not respond to WECT’s request for comment.
Greene’s request comes after his resignation in late October following the release of recordings showing the former sheriff making racist comments about his employees.
Comp time is a benefit sometimes offered to non-exempt employees used instead of overtime pay, essentially allowing employees to take days off for working more than 40 hours a week.
The board of commissioners did approve $127,000 in payouts for non-exempt Sheriff’s Office employees who recently separated from the county. The agenda cites turnover and attrition rates as the reason for the needed funding. These requests include mandatory county expenses like retirement funds owed to employees.
In terms of paying Greene comp time, North Carolina Administrative Code confirms exempt employees can’t be paid out — or accrue comp time beyond one year.
“Under the state’s overtime compensation policy certain employees are designated as administrative, executive or professional. Employees in these categories are exempt from the provision for overtime pay. To grant these employees compensating time is a decision that must be made by the agency head. When compensatory time is granted to administrative, executive or professional employees, the following shall apply:
(1) Amount. Compensatory time is awarded at a rate not to exceed the individual’s straight-time equivalent rate;
(2) Non-cumulative. Compensatory time is not cumulative beyond a 12-month period. For this reason, an employee must be required to take compensatory time as soon as possible after it is credited;
(3) Non-transferable. Compensatory time is not transferable to any other type of leave or to another agency; and
(4) Separation. Compensatory time is lost when an employee is separated from state service. The employee’s separation date shall not be changed in order to pay for compensatory time.”
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