Becker defends employee time clock actions

Former Pulaski County Highway Superintendent Kenny Becker says the employees who were leaving 15 minutes early each day were still on the clock even though they were no longer on the county’s property. He said they were driving snow plows home due to the threat of inclement weather, and they could not drive county vehicles on their own time due to liability concerns. County commissioners learned of the practice after Becker’s suspension last month and voted Monday to dock each of the employees 15 minutes of time in order to balance the books. Becker was reinstated to full pay eight days after his suspension but is working as “manager” of the department under the supervision of commissioner Larry Brady. Commissioners discussed the matter at length during Tuesday’s heated meeting. Brady said he’s checked with the county’s insurance agent, and the employees are covered even when they are not on the clock. He says the coverage follows the vehicle, and not the employee. Commissioners acknowledged their investigation found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.