The Democratic candidate for secretary of state in Iowa says three former employees in the current secretary of state’s office should reimburse taxpayers for what they were paid during the months they didn’t come into the office.
A recent audit found Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz paid three employees $110,000 after they left their jobs. Democrat Brad Anderson says the three should either show the public what work they were doing from home or reimburse taxpayers.
“This is a simple, no-brainer to me,” Anderson says. “…Here in Iowa we value work and these employees have cost the state $110,000 and they’ve produced no work product.”
The audit, released last week, shows a top deputy to Secretary of State Matt Schultz was paid a total of $90,000 for six months after his job was eliminated. Auditors could not find what, if any, work the three were doing that would make them eligible to remain on the payroll. Schultz says the state’s personnel department told him he was allowed to make the arrangement because the state does not offer severance pay to laid off employees.
Republican Paul Pate, the former secretary of state who’s asking voters to reelect him in November, says he’ll ask for a “performance audit” of the office if he’s elected, but Pate says it’s up to Schultz to answer questions about the absent workers who remained on the payroll.
“Matt Schultz has got a responsibility to the taxpayers just like any other statewide elected official has and he’ll have to respond to that and deal with it,” Pate says. “I can tell you this much and that is my focus as secretary of state is going to be on the priorities of Iowans.”
Pate and Anderson made their comments today during taping of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program which airs at 7:30 p.m. tonight.