Fairhaven Building Inspector Overpays Himself $ 4234.00
Posted in the Newton Forum
#1 Mar 25, 2013
Fairhaven's Fostin disciplined for more than $4,000 in overpayment
By ARIEL WITTENBE RG
March 23, 2013 12:00 AM
FAIRHAVEN — The Board of Selectmen in December reprimanded Building Inspector and Conservation Agent Wayne Fostin for overpaying himself more than $1,000 per year since September 2008.
As conservation agent, Fostin is supposed to be paid a stipend for 47 weeks per year. According to minutes from an executive session of the Board of Selectmen on Dec. 17, 2012, Fostin was incorrectly paid each year for 52 weeks, including five weeks a year that are supposed to be unpaid vacation.
Fostin was responsible for signing his own weekly payroll slips prepared by his secretary, according to the minutes. At the meeting, Fostin said the payroll department should have caught the error.
Also according to the minutes obtained by The Standard-Times, Fostin told selectmen "he has not been sharp the last 3½ years due to personal issues."
"He thought that other town employees would serve as a fail-safe in regards to his pay," the minutes state.
At their December meeting, selectmen voted to suspend Fostin for four consecutive Wednesdays in January without pay and required him to repay the sum of $4,234 between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2013. The board also voted to have selectmen's secretary Anne Kakley review Fostin's future payrolls and sign off on them.
Fostin's reprimand was passed unanimously after two other suggestions failed. A proposal to put Fostin on probation for six months by Selectman Bob Espindola and a proposal for a one-week suspension by Board Chairman Brian Bowcock both failed to be seconded, according to the minutes.
The issue was brought to the board's attention in December when Fostin requested additional funds to pay for a recording secretary to attend Conservation Commission meetings and the Finance Committee reviewed the commission's budget.
Reached by phone Friday, Fostin said he did not have any comments on the matter, saying "I don't know what else to tell you about it other than it unfortunately happened and we are rectifying it."
At the meeting in December, the minutes say Espindola also questioned why Fostin had not been attending meetings of the Conservation Commission "and his general work performance." Fostin was accused in August by commission member Cora Peirce of using a racial slur to refer to a resident. According to the December minutes, Fostin "said he was concerned with attending" the meetings because of Peirce's presence.
On Friday, Fostin denied his absence was related to Peirce, saying instead "I discussed it with the chairman of the committee and he said they didn't need me for awhile so I took a break.
"Now I'm back there doing what I've been doing for 20 years."
Bowcock said last week that Fostin's meeting attendance and payroll issues "are two totally different things."
"As the conservation agent, he should be there. A payroll mistake has nothing to do with that," Bowcock said.
#2 Mar 25, 2013
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