Snafu delays county employees’ checks

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By AJ Vicens

An administrative error left hundreds of county employees without the paychecks they expected to receive on Sept. 4.

County Administrator Jim Moore said the county incorrectly asked JP Morgan Chase Bank, which handles county payroll, to pay employees on Sept. 5, the normal payday. Since the 5th fell on a Saturday, the county should have asked for payments Sept. 4, which is the normal policy when paydays fall on a holiday or a weekend. Since the county asked the bank to pay employees on a Saturday, the bank moved the payment to the next banking day, which would have been Tuesday, Sept. 8.

Many employees had issued personal checks for rent or mortgage payments that were dated the 4th, leaving them in a bind.

"I had one girl tell me that her rent check to her landlord bounced," said one county employee who did not want to be identified. "She's really upset, and she's not the only one."

Moore said the county told JP Morgan Chase that a mistake was made, and asked to have the money deposited Sept. 4. Federal banking regulations require a 24-hour waiting period on the funds, but the bank agreed to put the money into employees' bank accounts Sept. 5.

"The county's funds will hit at midnight tonight, so most county employees will be able to access at that time," Moore said in an internal e-mail to employees Sept. 4. "Rest assured, all employees will be paid."

County spokeswoman Kathryn Heider said roughly 2,300 employees were affected by the county's error, while more than 500 employees who get paper paychecks were paid on time. The county pays $6.9 million in payroll every two weeks, $4 million of which is direct deposit. There are about 2,800 employees on the county payroll.

Contact AJ Vicens at aj@evergreenco.com, and check www.columbinecourier.com for updates and breaking news.