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Fiscal court votes to fire county treasurer

A week after questioning the county treasurer’s actions, the Clark County Fiscal Court voted Wednesday to terminate his employment immediately concerning a disputed transfer, which the six-year employee vehemently denies.

The court voted 4-2, with Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace abstaining, to end the employment of Jerry Madden, who has served as treasurer since 2014.

The motion came from Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos that Madden’s employment be ended for cause, citing state statute that the fiscal court may remove the county treasurer “at any time for neglect of duty, incompetency, or dishonesty.”

Magistrates Travis Thompson and Robert Blanton voted no, saying they did not have enough information to vote.

During a special meeting last week, Madden said he had overlooked a purchase order, which caused an account to be overdrawn. He requested a transfer of $7,996 to cover the situation to be voted on during the Feb. 27 meeting. The meeting, though, was postponed until March 3 by a vote of the magistrates after receiving their packets of information too late to prepare for the meeting.

Madden asked that the transfer be approved retroactively as he made the transfer to avoid overdrawing the account.

During the March 3 meeting, Clark County Attorney William Elkins said state law prohibits retroactive transfers or transfers without fiscal court approval. He then suggested the court seize the hard drives from Madden’s and Finance Officer Frankie Faulkner’s computers for forensic evaluation.

Pace said Wednesday the hard drives were sent off, but did not know when the results would be available.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Pace said those evaluations have not been completed and he did not know when the report would be available.

Madden, though, said he was directed by Pace to make the transfer to avoid the negative balance and to generate a report for Konstantopoulos.

“I came to you and informed you that the negative balance prevented me from creating the report that Daniel (Konstantopoulos) wanted,” Madden wrote in a letter to Pace dated March 4. “You advised me to make the adjustment to the February account so I could print out the report that Daniel wanted. You advised that you were going to make the transfer retroactive and that you had already secured the votes from the magistrates for the transfer to take place.”

Later in the letter, Madden said the money was never actually moved.

“There was never any actual transfer and no distribution of funds for that account because the transfer had not been voted on by the Fiscal Court,” Madden wrote. “The adjustment I made was only for the purpose of creating the report. At no time was it a formal document that I was going to sign. In fact, I did not sign it and it was not an official document.”

After reading the letter, Pace called it “inaccurate and self-serving.” He said Madden told him of the negative balance following the Feb. 27 meeting, but denied telling Madden to make the adjustment on paper.

“I just feel the letter in a whole was crafted in a way to avoid responsibility,” Pace said Wednesday afternoon.

Following Wednesday’s meeting, Pace said he wanted Madden to present his side to the magistrates.

“Upon my insistence, Mr. Madden was given the opportunity to present to the fiscal court with his attorney, Mr. (Brian) Thomas,” Pace said. “Obviously the fiscal court made the judgment” to terminate Madden’s employment and that he “may not have followed all the duties he should have.”

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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