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By Ron Fonger, JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
Former Finance Director Marc Puckett has received more than $6,000 for unused vacation time through a special agreement he had with City Administrator David H. Ready.
That’s in addition to $10,000 Puckett already was entitled to as a department head for 320 hours of unused vacation time.
Puckett was a sometimes-controversial figure in Flint before resigning in February, leaving days after revealing that his department failed to make proper pension transfers for nearly two years despite warnings from auditors.
Since Puckett’s departure, Mayor Woodrow Stanley has ordered a comprehensive review of practices in the finance department.
Flint department heads can be reimbursed for up to 320 hours of unused vacation when they leave their jobs.
Ready said Puckett was entitled to the additional 197 hours because he was asked not to use vacation time to which he was entitled. The city administrator said Puckett was needed as a new software system was introduced in City Hall and as Flint prepared for potential year 2000 computer problems.
Based on Puckett’s hourly pay rate of $31.76, the unused vacation time totals more than $16,000.
Ready said it is
very normal practice in business and government to buy up that vacation time.
Critics, who sometimes clashed with Puckett, disagreed.
City Council President Scott Kincaid, a potential candidate for mayor, said Puckett
should have been terminated, not rewarded.
The expenditure for the vacation time did not require council approval.
First Ward Councilman Omar A. Sims said the city must fulfill its obligation to Puckett, despite recent finance department problems, including a current audit over property tax payments that were misdirected to some local units of government.
We need to honor the agreement, Sims said.
Ron Fonger writes about Flint city government and Bishop Airport. He can be reached at (810) 766-6317.
Copyright Flint Journal / MLive Media Group (mlive.com). Used with permission.