State audit calls on former Gary Public Library worker to reimburse more than $5,000

2012-12-07T18:00:00Z 2012-12-08T13:37:03Z State audit calls on former Gary Public Library worker to reimburse more than $5,000Chelsea Schneider Kirk, (219) 933-3241

GARY | State auditors are requesting a former Gary Public Library worker pay back more than $5,000 in compensation in an investigation made public this week.

The investigation into Martin Baylor was released in conjunction with a state audit of library finances from 2008 to 2011 that revealed issues with credit card use and an unauthorized wage increase.

In Baylor's case, state auditors found instances when the then-library facilities service manager would not deduct hours from his library time sheet while he was teaching classes for Calumet Township and Ivy Tech Community College.

Baylor also would claim extra hours at the library on many occasions when he taught night classes for Ivy Tech, according to the Indiana State Board of Accounts investigation.

In all, Baylor is requested to reimburse $5,132 to the library for the duplicate hours claimed from 2006 to 2009. Baylor did not reply to a certified mailing of the report sent June 15, according to state records.

Baylor had sued the Gary Public Library in federal court in 2010 attempting to be reinstated to his job following his suspension in 2009 “allegedly for the misuse of Library time,” according to the complaint. The case was later dismissed.

Interim Library Director Diana Morrow declined to comment on the investigation, but said the library has addressed all issues the state found in the audit. Morrow was not serving in the post during the time period for the audit or investigation.

“We've addressed each one of those issues, had meetings and got everything in order, so these won't be an issue again,” Morrow said.

The financial review comes at a time when budget constraints have forced the library to close locations as well as cut staff positions and pay.

Among the issues cited in the report, auditors found:

— Former Library Director Sherri Ervin purchased $5,062 in fuel for her personal vehicle with a library credit card without documenting business use

— $12,432 in undocumented credit card charges in the years covered by the audit

— Raises were not calculated correctly, leading to employees being overpaid $21,538 in February 2009 and underpaid $4,644 in March 2009

— An employee received a $7,566 salary increase in 2011 without evidence of board approval

In responding to the audit, the Library Board's president, Nancy Valentine, told the state the library would correct the mistakes.

“Through this review we have ascertained areas needed for improvement and shall make every effort to correct and strengthen weaknesses in our recordkeeping, policies and procedures,” Valentine told auditors.

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