The Pulaski County Commissioners approved the recommendation by Auditor Shelia Garling to properly transfer money to a line item in the budget to cover attorneys fees for the rest of the year.
Garling explained that she fears there isn’t enough money budgeted for the rest of the year to cover the amount of claims that County Attorney Kevin Tankersley has been submitting.
The commissioners looked over his bill that was submitted and they found that Tankersley has been receiving phone calls from members of the county council and from other people with issues that don’t need to go through the attorney. The attorney charges the county for all county-related work, as he’s supposed to do, and every county-related phone call goes on the bill.
Commissioner Tracey Shorter said that the employees need to follow the chain of command.
“Our directors and administrators and persons we appoint bypass their chain of command and they go straight to the attorney instead of coming to us and saying whether or not Kevin needs to review that. That is costing the county a lot of money. There are a lot of things on here that I too have an issue with,” stated Shorter.
The commissioners will be looking into this issue further. They hope to direct people to review what the policy is in the employee handbook before reporting issues moving forward.
Speaking of the budget issues, budget time is coming around shortly and Garling warned the commissioners that over $2 million will need to be cut from the 2015 budget.