published Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Dade County, Ga., payroll clerk resigns after controversy

The woman who wrote paychecks for Dade County, Ga., employees tendered her resignation Friday after weeks of scrutiny by county officials into charges she padded her own paychecks.

County payroll clerk Jennifer Hodnick submitted an official resignation letter Friday, County Commissioner Robert Goff said.

"She had added some money to her checks, I guess is the best way to put it," Goff said. "I don't think we're going to press charges or get the DA involved."

"She chose resignation over being released," he said.

County Chairman Ted Rumley said, "There wasn't any theft."

County officials became concerned, Goff said, "after there were some discrepancies found in the county audit."

Hodnick, who had an annual salary of $42,373, could not be reached Friday for comment.

She paid herself more than her salary, Goff said. But Hodnick had some extra money coming, he said, through a county policy that lets employees cash in unused sick days.

All told, Goff said, Hodnick overpaid herself less than $2,000.

If Hodnick asks the county to be paid for accrued sick time and vacation pay after her resignation, Goff said, the county would take what it's owed and give her the difference.

"If she owed $50 to the county, and we owed her $100, we'd give her $50," he said as an illustration.

"I wish her well down the road," he said. "She'd been a good employee for several years. For whatever reason, something happened.

"She lost her job, so obviously, she did something wrong," he said.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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