Alabama dining room manager ordered to repay more than $23,000 after years-long payroll error


CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) – A Chilton County Schools canteen manager has been told she must repay more than $23,000 after a payroll error caused her to overpay for about six years.

Christie Payne recently received a letter from Chilton County Schools outlining the alleged overpayment.

“A review of financial records reveals that you have been overpaid by the Chilton County School Board,” the letter reads.

The letter, signed by Superintendent Jason Griffin, says the overpayment amounts to $23,465.40 and began in the 2016-17 school year.

“Employee has transitioned from assistant manager to manager,” the letter reads. “The employee should have started at step 0 or the manager’s schedule, but he has acquired years of experience as an assistant.”

Each month, “not supported,” the letter says, $254 will be added to the total amount Payne owns.

The letter outlines three options for repaying the money. Payne can pay $325.91 a month for 72 months, $3,910.90 a year for the next six years, or pay all at once.

The letter stated that if Payne objects to the overpayment or wishes to offer an alternate repayment schedule, she must do so within seven days of receiving the letter, dated April 12 but sent to the home address of Payne.

Payne did not take the refund request lightly. She said she was shocked when she received the letter.

“I had no idea this was happening,” she said. “Now I have seven days to fix a six-year-old mistake made by the payroll department.”

Payne has been in contact with representatives of the Alabama Education Association about the matter, according to district manager Tracy LeSieur. AEA is working to gather more information and assess the situation, LeSieur said Friday morning.

Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin declined to answer questions about the issue Thursday night.

“Due to employee privacy concerns, Chilton County Schools will not be commenting on your request,” Griffin said in an email.

You can read the full letter sent to Christie Payne below.

(Courtesy of Christie Payne)
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