County Jail Exceeds Overtime Budget by 77 Percent, Grand Jury Finds
December 13, 2012
In reviewing county staffers' overtime billing, two departments stood out: emergency communications and the sheriff's department, according to an interim final report released Thursday by the Monterey County Civil Grand Jury.
The sheriff's overtime budget for 2011-12 was $3 million, but more than $4 million had already been spent. Jail operations absorbed the bulk of that, exceeding the overtime budget by 77 percent.
Emergency Communications operates the county's 911 system 24/7, with 62 employees. About 17 percent of the department's budget is for overtime pay, with many employees working 48-hour weeks based on regular 12-hour shifts.
"Because the county does not request clearly defined budgeting for overtime nor provide clear reports by departments showing overtime costs, we believe the issue does not receive the regular financial scrutiny it deserves," the report states.
The grand jury report cites a plan to employ civilians in some jail positions, designed to reduce the overtime workload. The grand jury also recommends a 56-hour cap on sheriff's deputy work weeks, and employing part-time employees to fill what are now treated as overtime shifts.