State auditor releases report on vacation time for New Hampton police sergeant
After months of rumors surrounding the New Hampton Police Department, the State Auditor’s Office released a report Wednesday that showed the city’s former police chief allowed his sergeant to carry over vacation time and that he allowed the sergeant to use compensation time instead of vacation.
State Auditor Rob Sand released the report on Wednesday, and New Hampton Police Chief Zach Nosbisch said later in the day that two employees — Sgt. Steve Stalder and part-time administrative secretary Karen Schmitt — remain on administrative lead because of what he called “the ongoing investigation.”
Sand’s office found that former Police Chief Mike Anderson, who retired in August 2018, approved Stalder’s request to carry over 72 hours of vacation, which exceeded the maximum limit of 40 hours.
However, Anderson told investigators that he approved the carryover because Stalder was prevented from using his vacation before his anniversary date because of situations where “the chief needed him for department operations.”
The special also found that Stalder used a total of 10 days of vacation during an August 2016 pay period, but the payroll system did not reflect any vacation hours used. Anderson told investigators he approved the use of “earned compensatory time” for the employee’s August 2016 vacation.
Schmitt, according to the report, was “responsible for preparing the payroll information used by the city clerk to process the department’s by-weekly payroll.”
The report stated that Nosbisch was comparing leave and payroll records for Stalder and identified the two concerns and after meeting with Stalder and Schmitt, he placed them on paid administrative lead, effective Sept. 24, 2018.