Former Statesboro City Manager Shane Haynes was indicted last month in South Carolina on charges of misconduct in office while he was city administrator in Hardeeville, S.C.
Four other Hardeeville officials also were indicted. The indictments say all five engaged in acts and omissions “including but not limited to abuse of the leave-cashing policy.” Haynes has not turned himself in and, according to a report in The Island Packet of Hilton Head, S.C., the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office is preparing to extradite him so he can appear before a judge,
The indictments do not outline specific acts of misconduct. All of the alleged misconduct occurred between 2005 and 2006.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division launched a criminal investigation into Hardeeville’s finances in 2008 after a four-year forensic audit identified irregularities.
Haynes was hired as city manager in Statesboro in July 2008 and served until City Council voted to seek his resignation in September 2010. Haynes agreed to resign after a separation agreement was reached with the city, paying him a $162,673 settlement.
According to the report in The Island Packet, a financial audit by accounting firm Dixon Hughes, a draft of which was discussed at a Hardeeville City Council meeting in October 2008, the city once had a policy that allowed employees to cash in unused sick and vacation days.
A previous audit of the fiscal year ending in June 2004 indicated the city’s accrued leave budget was overspent by $232,000 because of the policy. The city then adopted new limitations, to begin the next fiscal year, barring employees from cashing in their sick days or more than 80 hours of vacation leave per year.
However, “none of those policies appeared to be enforced” in the years that followed, according to the Dixon Hughes audit. Certain employees continued to cash in more sick and vacation leave than they were allowed, causing discrepancies between the pay they earned from the city and the wages they reported to the IRS, the audit says.
The audit includes memos from Haynes and Henderson that added yet more vacation days, and auditors could not find proof that the additions were authorized by City Council.
In one instance noted by the audit, Haynes was paid $7,923 in January 2006 for cashing in 80 hours of accrued vacation and 80 hours of sick leave, but the hours he traded for pay were not deducted from his leave balance.