City payroll mistake shorts Lt. Scott Stephens $1,200

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by HAYLEY GUENTHNER & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 8:01 PM

SPOKANE -- A question by KREM 2 News revealed a $1,200 clerical error by the City of Spokane on Wednesday. The error involves former Interim Police Chief Scott Stephens.
The lawyer for Stephens’ said that his client was docked pay before he was demoted to the position of lieutenant.

The City of Spokane admitted to the error during an interview with KREM 2 News on Wednesday. A payroll error shorted Stephens more than $1,200 in pay.

In February, Stephens’ attorney sent a letter to the city explaining that his client was “shocked to discover the city had unilaterally and without notice unlawfully demoted him and reduced his pay to that of a lieutenant.”

Stephens’ pay stub in January showed that he received $900 less, with no explanation.
Spokane City officials placed Stephens on paid administrative leave in December, but never publically said why.

Stephen’s attorney Bob Dunn spoke to KREM 2 News and said his client was placed on paid leave for allegedly making a workplace threat. The threat allegedly happened when Stephens was told he was going to be demoted, according to Dunn.

An official demotion notice never came, and Stephens was not told his pay would be reduced, Dunn said.

The city says a coding error resulted in Stephens losing 17 hours of pay in his January 11th paycheck. City workers said no one was aware of the error until KREM 2 News looked into the issue.

Dunn said Stephens has been locked out of all of his communication tools, and had not idea what was behind the drop in pay.

City workers said they working immediately to fix their error, and that Stephens would be paid the difference as soon as the next pay period.

Dunn sent his letter to the city three weeks ago, pointing out the error in pay, and says the city never responded.

City workers said there have been other errors on employee paychecks in the past.

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