Delaware Auditor's Office Issues Report on Correctional Overtime - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Auditor's Office Issues Report on Correctional Overtime

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The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC) The James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, Del. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- More than a third of Delaware's budgeted funding for overtime is being spent in the Department of Correction with some correctional officers earning more than their entire year's salary in overtime, according to a report from the state auditor's office.

The report from Auditor Tom Wagner was released on Monday and (R) found 38 percent of the state's $57 million in overtime expenditures in Fiscal Year 2016---nearly $22 million---went through DOC, which employs about 2,500 people. The figure currently holds at 36 percent in the ongoing budget year.

Overtime for correctional officers has become a hot topic following early February's inmate uprising and hostage situation at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna. Union leaders have linked the practice of "freezing" officers in their shifts and forcing them to work overtime to cover staffing shortages as a factor that may have contributed to the incident, which saw the death of correctional officer Steven Floyd.

The auditor's office said the assessment began prior to the inmate uprising.

According to the report, more than 2,000 DOC employees received overtime.

The top five overtime earners in the department picked up more pay in that category than their yearly salaries in FY 2016, the report said.

The top overtime earner in FY 2016 was a correctional officer at the Howard Young Correctional Institution in Wilmington, per the report. Then CO was paid more than $70,000 overtime in addition to a salary of $46,879.

So far, a lieutenant at the Sussex Correctional Institute is the top overtime earner in the current fiscal year, taking in more than $51,000 with a salary of $36,729.

Wagner said the report's findings would be given to the former U.S. Attorney and retired judge conducting an independent review of the causes behind the hostage situation. A report on the findings of that probe are expected by June 1.

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