After one recent retirement cost Kanawha County $66,000 for the employee's unused annual leave time, county officials want to know how many more of Prosecuting Attorney Mark Plants' employees have saved up significant amounts of leave time.
County Commissioner Dave Hardy said the subject came up after the county had to pay out $66,000 in unused leave time for assistant prosecutor Don Morris, who is retiring this month.
Hardy said he had no doubt that Morris earned the annual leave or that the county owes the money.
"I think the world of Don Morris," Hardy said. "I am not being critical of Don Morris in any way."
But he said county officials need to know how many more employees in the prosecuting attorney's office have large amounts of unused annual leave. He said the County Commission needs the information to help in budgeting for when employees leave or are fired.
"If it's a liability, then we need to know how high it is," Hardy said.
County officials have been burned on unused leave time from the prosecutor's office before. When former prosecuting attorney Bill Forbes left office in 2000, three assistant prosecutors also left, collecting almost $60,000 for their unused leave time.
In 2003, former prosecuting attorney Mike Clifford nearly doubled the amount of leave time employees could save.
Within the past two years, Plants changed his leave policy so that employees could accrue no more than 20 annual leave days. The new policy went into effect in January.