CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 3,300 state employees received overtime pay of more than $5,000 in the 2011-12 budget year, topped by Marshall University head football coach Doc Holliday, who was listed with $425,000 in overtime pay, a legislative audit released Monday shows.
But a Marshall spokesman said Holliday and others from the Huntington school are on the list because of a quirk in the state's payroll codes.
Holliday was one of six state employees listed as receiving overtime pay in excess of $100,000. The others included Marshall head basketball coach Tom Herrion, listed with $160,300 in overtime pay, and three physicians and an administrator at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital.
Also, the audit listed Marshall University President Stephen Kopp with the seventh-highest amount of overtime for the year, at $65,000.
Matt Turner, Marshall University chief of staff, said the matter is an accounting issue, with portions of the salaries for Holliday, Herrion and Kopp falling under payment code 171, the state payroll code for overtime pay.
"That wouldn't be overtime pay for the coaches or the president," Turner said. "Unfortunately, that's the way it's showing up. They did not get overtime pay."
In a follow-up statement, Turner noted, "Marshall University, in working with the state Auditor's Office, determined that in order for our payroll systems to share information, this was the best code to use for overtime as well as extra help or supplemental pay. This '171' EPICS code is used for a variety of payments that includes overtime, as well as supplemental lump-sum pay items for 'regular employees' and compensation for temporary employees. So any pay above state-funded pay to Doc Holliday, for instance, would be placed under this code."
The legislative audit also found that the Division of Highways had 31 employees who received overtime pay in excess of $25,000. Legislative auditor Aaron Allred said DOH historically has hired engineers at below-market salaries, but with guaranteed overtime built in.
"We think if Highways needs to pay engineers $80,000 a year, they should pay them $80,000, not $60,000 plus overtime," Allred told the legislative Post Audits Committee.
Auditors said the audit raises several issues, including whether certain agencies are using guaranteed overtime pay to inflate salaries, whether job titles that should be salaried positions without overtime are improperly classified as hourly positions, and whether the 3,346 employees are underpaying their Public Employee Insurance Agency premiums.