CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Former West Virginia Housing Development Fund executive director Joe Hatfield received $70,000 in bonuses over the past decade -- $20,000 more than the agency initially disclosed two weeks ago, according to agency meeting minutes.
Housing officials acknowledged they underreported Hatfield's cash bonuses, citing "human error."
"We made a mistake," said Erica Boggess, acting executive director. "We weren't trying to do anything underhanded."
Earlier this month, the Sunday Gazette-Mail reported that the Housing Development Fund had handed out more than $800,000 in cash bonuses to its employees since 2002.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the agency released a chart showing that Hatfield had collected $50,000 in bonus pay.
The newspaper filed a follow-up FOIA request for copies of the agency's meeting minutes, after Housing Fund executives said the agency's board of directors approved Hatfield's bonuses.
The agency initially reported that Hatfield didn't receive bonuses in 2005 and 2008.
The meeting minutes reflect that Hatfield received a $10,000 bonus in each of those years.
"We had compiled the bonus information from an internal database that required manual entry of bonus information," Boggess said. "Apparently, these two bonuses were never inputted into the database and, consequently, not included in the information provided. It was simply human error."
Hatfield's salary last year was $180,000. He retired Dec. 31.
The agency's meeting minutes show that board members sometimes kept secret the specific amount of Hatfield's annual bonus:
The minutes listed Hatfield's name and bonus amount in 2004, twice in 2007, and in 2009.