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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Unemployment claim causing county problems

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

GREENCASTLE -- When the Putnam County Public Defender's Office closed on Jan. 1, the two secretaries who were employed there lost their jobs.

Now, the county has received paperwork from the state notifying them that one of the former employees has filed for unemployment benefits -- and no one is certain who should fill out the necessary paperwork at the county level.

"Normally we have the head of whatever department the employee worked in fill it out," Auditor Stephanie Campbell told Putnam County Council members at their Tuesday night meeting. "But since there is no public defender's office now and this is where she worked, she's departmentless."

Campbell said she initially sent the paperwork to the county judges, but they sent it back to her.

"I was told that since the judges didn't let them go, they didn't feel like they should be the ones to have to deal with the paperwork," she said.

Campbell noted that since there was no budget line item for unemployment, the commissioners would also have to decide what fund the unemployment payments would come from. She also noted that the second former employee's unemployment paperwork would likely be coming in soon.

Council President Darrell Thomas wanted to make sure the former employees were actually eligible for unemployment benefits.

"They absolutely are," Campbell said. "I'm assuming the county's not going to fight this ... if they did, they would lose."

Councilman Larry Parker was surprised the judges hadn't done the paperwork.

"It seems to me they'd want to fill it out for their employees," he said. "But however we need to get it done, we need to do it."

Parker asked how much money the two unemployment claims would cost the county.

"We can call and see approximately," Campbell said. "But they won't be able to give us an exact amount, especially with unemployment laws changing all the time."

The council voted to table the issue until the next meeting.

The council decided last year to close the public defender's office in the Putnam Country Courthouse on Jan. 1 as a money saving measure.

"We need to look at our budgets really hard," said Councilman Roger Deck. "We've got one of two choices ... lay people off or start tightening the belt right now."

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First they lose their jobs and now their unemployment benefits are "tabled"? The council needs to figure this out now, and not keep shuffling it under the table. These people worked for the county and are entitled to the benefits. Quit screwing around and do the right thing!

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 5:42 AM

Imagine how these two employees will feel after reading this in the paper......

-- Posted by Innocent on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 6:55 AM

Wow....sounds like our county accounting departments have no ideal what they are doing here...Do we have to pay unemployemnt? How stupid of a question can you ask...oh and by the way you can't table something that requires an answer by a certain date...GET A CLUE!!!!! Maybe Bayh is right about local government also and we need to get a fresh start at our next elections there

-- Posted by Bored-n-Gcastle on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 7:27 AM

Not that I need to remind everyone, but please remember all of what is going on, has gone on when it comes time to VOTE! And please everyone VOTE so WE can make the change. Putnam County needs SOMEONE to take charge.

-- Posted by didisaythat? on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 7:47 AM

Does the county not pay into the Federal Unemployment (FUTA)? As long as this county as been in existance, not one office has had a "line" item. Has no one ever been let go before? REMEMBER WHEN ITS TIME TO VOTE. This is the reason you should not vote for your friends.

-- Posted by whodouthinkur on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 8:12 AM

WOW!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? These ladies gave like 15 years to the county collectively, lost their jobs and this is how we treat them? Hope their families don't need to eat. Remember at election time people!!!!

-- Posted by fighting mad on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 8:48 AM

You only have a limited time to appeal an unemployment claim. If they were let go, they have a legit claim. And, I would quess the window of opportunity for the county to fight the claim has come and gone.

-- Posted by localman on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:01 AM

Unbelievable......are former employees eligible for unemployment benefits???? What a bunch of BS.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:02 AM

"The council voted to table the issue until the next meeting."

Are you serious? It really is time for change in this county. These folks were let go at no fault of their own - of course they are entitled to unemployment. Sounds like the judges are engaging in political posturing at the expense of these employees to try and prove a point. Somebody needs to step up and do the right thing.

-- Posted by jorge on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:03 AM

Banner check into the rules for local and state Gov't into payroll deductions. It looks like they don't have to pay Unemployment payroll deductions? This is payed by the employer. The only thing the employer may have changed is a different rate of deductions. It doesn't add up?

Ask questions follow up on this miss managed system we seem to have!

-- Posted by macvrod on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 9:14 AM

In light of the fact that the county will now have to pay unemployment benefits, will the county really save money by closing the office? What other unexpected cost are going to surface?

When & where is the next Putnam County Council meeting? Is it open to the public?

Who is on the council? Was the vote unanimous? How did each member vote?

Have these ladies had any income since Jan. 1st or are they still waiting for their first unemployment check?

Jamie, the Banner Graphic need to follow-up on this story. We taxpayers need answers. We may be the next person in this situation

-- Posted by interested in C'dale on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 11:08 AM

Please, everyone just calm down. After a few phone calls to the courthouse...and several of the offices were very helpful....this is my understanding of what happened. The Judges were given the paperwork to fill out, because neither of the Judges were here when the secretaries hired on they did not know hire dates ect. which is just some of the information the forms required. Makes sense. The Judges then went to the Auditors office (this office keeps records of all hire dates ect.)and asked if they would please fill out the forms. The Audutirs office did. The paperwork is filled out and ready to go. So, if you're going to be upset well, it looks like the Council is where the buck stopped AGAIN!

-- Posted by justasksomeone on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 11:50 AM

Maybe a better headline would have been "County Officials Confused by Simple Task"

-- Posted by sneakers on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 12:09 PM

justasksomeone, then why did the commissioners have to table anything at all. Why did they not know that the paperwork was completed and READY TO GO as you say. Mail it then already.

-- Posted by whodouthinkur on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:01 PM

whodouthinkur, because they have no idea which 'fund' they are going to pay the unemployment claims with. Looks like they would have already ironed that out when they did the 'letting go' but it doesn't appear that way. If you would like to call the Auditor's office I'm sure they would answer any questions you may have. They really did do their part. Like I said, the buck stopped where it always stops.

-- Posted by justasksomeone on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:14 PM

If "justasksomeone" is correct, did the Banner Graphic jump the gun in writing this story? If it was that easy and there really wasn't an issue why was this story produced to begin with?

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:41 PM

citizenoftheworld, from everyone I've talked to, it sounds like there was some confusion and finger pointing but I really think a mountain was made out of a molehill. And no, I do not think it was a molehill that people lost their jobs or their income, its just a figure of speech. Please dont accuse me of minimizing the situation.

No one can figure out why the story was written the way it was.

-- Posted by justasksomeone on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:52 PM

NO NO Please,I was not accusing you of minimizing the story...I am sorry...I did come across that way. I just wonder if the Banner should have researched a little better before writing this up and publishing it.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 1:59 PM

citizenoftheworld, its ok. Yep, it looks like more research would have been a good thing! Maybe they will do a follow-up.

-- Posted by justasksomeone on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:01 PM

"Unemployment claim causing county problems"

Wrong headline, it should read

"County causing problems for unemployment claimants"

"I was told that since the judges didn't let them go, they didn't feel like they should be the ones to have to deal with the paperwork,"

It was probably Bridges as I've heard him openly make derogatory remarks about unemployed people. He's very uninformed or at least pretends that there is no current economic crisis.

-- Posted by westforty on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:07 PM

The Council meets on the 3rd Tuesday night of the month at 7:00. Meetings are always open to the public, unless it is an Executive Session where they can only discuss employee issues. And remember, these articles are a snapshot of what the writer hears and puts to paper. To get the real story, get involved and attend these meetings. I have in the past and they are normally very boring because most things to come before the Council are based upon the budget. But sometimes you get lucky and something interesting comes out. Don't rely on others to pass on their "facts" go out and get them yourself. You might find that some of these people are not as clueless as you give them credit for.

-- Posted by hoosierpete on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:07 PM


The Banner does the "writing stories the wrong way so it will be juicier" all the time! Try getting into the paper for juicy news yourself and see how the county reacts. They DON'T CARE if it's a lie - it gets read and angers flare, that is what they live on!

These 2 ladies did their job - Quit putting it on the TABLE for next meeting and get them what they deserve!!

Benedick - I totally agree! If the $$ was coming from their pockets until it was filed - they wouldn't have shoved it under the table.

We need to think of this when we VOTE!

-- Posted by ec on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 3:42 PM

Only in Greencastle.........

-- Posted by Harmony Church on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 4:54 PM

This is a no brainer-two employees layed off and no one knows how to take care of the paperwork-I bet the unemployment office attorney will direct them when there is a hearing. Good Grief!Every employer has to pay unemployment insurance-Duh!

-- Posted by bam on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 7:14 PM

I understand that as a council person it is your duty to make decisions especially in hard times like these when finances are critical for everyone.The Council clearly had no idea the ramifications their decision in closing the public defenders office would have on this county. Why should the Judges complete the unemployment paperwork? It was the Council's decision to close the public defender office's so I say let one of them complete the necessary paperwork so these women can get their unemployment. You should have known that there would be issues to be dealt with. The unemployment issue is just one of them and I bet there will be many more to come. I can't believe the council had to table the issue of who/whom would complete the unemployment paperwork. I will not ever vote again for any current member on our council especially one person who still thinks it's 1974 in the courthouse. Next time you go making a decision that you clearly know nothing about why don't you ask the one's involved in "our" county. My philosophy is I wouldn't tell a farmer how to plow a field or a realtor how to close on a house so what makes you an expert on what is best for the legal realm of this county.

-- Posted by alot/of/crap on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 10:41 PM

Provided the Banner Graphic reported this meeting properly. I do not understand the Auditor stating that there is no line item to pay unemployment claims. Unemployment compensation is typically paid to the unemployed worker by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. The County should be required to pay assessments on all employees during their period of employment to the IDWD. This assessment(rate)varies each year using a formula that includes many factors including the number of claims against a specific employer. The County should not be responsible for any direct payments to these employees, therefore there is no need for a line item (appropriation).

-- Posted by fact_checker on Wed, Feb 17, 2010, at 10:55 PM

thank you fact-checker. Well said. There should be no line item for this.

-- Posted by whodouthinkur on Thu, Feb 18, 2010, at 7:55 AM

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