Ex-Center Township Trustee official faces charges

U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has scheduled a Tuesday afternoon press conference to announce the arrest of a former public official from the Center Township Trustee’s Office.

Hogsett’s office said he will disclose charges against the official at the 1 p.m. press conference, but did not name the official.

The trustee’s office has been under scrutiny in recent years over its financial management practices. Critics have long complained the office spends too much money on overhead and personnel while providing few services. The office's main duty is poor relief.

A state audit covering 2009 and 2010 found a number of Center Township employees, including former Chief Financial Officer Alan Mizen, were heavily compensated from the township assistance fund but didn’t do any assistance-related work.

The auditors produced a supplemental report on Mizen’s pay, which totaled $173,236 in 2010, though his stated salary was $92,295. Mizen collected overtime, though he was in a salaried position, the report said. He also cashed out comp time and paid time off, against township rules, according to the report.

Mizen reported working more than 12 hours a day on 107 days in 2010.

“We would have expected to see a corresponding amount of output/work generated from the hours being charged,” the auditors wrote. “Several items that were the responsibility of the CFO were either not performed or were incomplete.”

Mizen, who’d been earning extra compensation since 2005, stated in his official response that he only appeared to collect overtime because township time sheets didn’t have a place to record comp time, which he was allowed to take.

He argued that the auditors misinterpreted the rules about comp time, and that cashing out was permissible. He said the trustee had verbally approved both comp time and the excess paid time off.

An update to this story can be found here.



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