Clark Co. worker claims time sheet complaints led to his firing - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Clark Co. gov't. worker disputes sudden firing

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JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.  (WDRB) -- What would you do if you were asked to falsify records at work?

The man who headed the work release and community corrections in Clark County as of last Friday says he challenged an order to do just that.  Then he was promptly let go.
 
Stephen Mason believes what's happened goes against policy and may be illegal.

"I was told that I was insubordinate and that I was terminated," Mason said.

Mason hopes Clark County's Community Corrections Advisory Board will give his job back on Wednesday.  

It's a group of judges, other elected officials and community members who oversee work release and probation.  It is scheduled to take up Mason's firing in a closed-door, executive session starting at 3:30 p.m. in Circuit Court #4 in the county courthouse in Jeffersonville.  A public session is scheduled afterward.

"If it's not in regards to the time sheet, I don't know what other issue it would be," Mason said.

Mason told WDRB News probation director Henry Ford fired him for insubordination on Friday, after Mason complained via a series of emails for being ordered to add hours to a co-worker's time sheet.

"I did not want to change his time sheet. But, when I was asked, and I was asked in writing, I did what I was told to do," Mason said.  "The county employee handbook says you can't do it.  The court employee handbook says you can't do it.  The work release policy, the community corrections policy says you can't do it."

At issue is at least 3.75 hours of pay, slightly more than a half-day's hours that Mason says the co-worker did not work last month.  It was not clear Tuesday whether the county would pay the employee for the added time.

Mason was asked why he spoke up and did not let the issue die.

"Part of my fear was, that, number one, you can ask anyone who works in a correctional facility, that is how people get you in their pockets. You ask me to give you four hours now, then next week it's going to be a whole day, then next month you'll want me to pay somebody for a week.  Where's it end?"

WDRB News was not able to reach Ford for comment, but his boss, circuit judge Vicki Carmichael, said she could not comment until after the meeting Wednesday.
 
Mason said he was not invited to attend the board meeting, though he may attend the portion open to the public.

"Even if I show up at the meeting, I don't know that I will be given the opportunity to present my side of the story.  This is my way of getting the story out."

Mason met with the county attorney and a county commissioner on Monday.  The county commissioners also have some oversight of the probation department and its community corrections components.

Mason has worked for Clark County government eight years.

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