June 20, 2024

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Warwick mayor and staff members owe health insurance premium payments

Warwick mayor and staff members owe health insurance premium payments

WARWICK, R.I. — Warwick Mayor Frank J. Picozzi, his main of employees, finance director, and press secretary have gone nearly a year and a half with out acquiring their health care insurance plan premiums deducted from their weekly paychecks, his press secretary stated Monday.

Picozzi, who took office environment in January 2021, took to Facebook on Thursday, indicating, “This morning it was brought to my focus that some users of my team and division administrators who arrived on board at the beginning of my phrase have not had our co-pays for our professional medical protection deducted from our weekly paychecks.”

The deductions, which are designed as part of cost sharing for personnel health insurance policies, must have commenced in February 2021, he reported.

“It appears that it was skipped mainly because the individual accountable for initiating it was out due to COVID,” Picozzi wrote. “I in no way observed it individually since my fork out is deposited electronically, and I hardly ever look at what is deducted.”

Picozzi stated the deductions will get started right away beneath repayment ideas for him and the other workforce. “I’m placing this out publicly for the reason that I consider in total disclosure and transparency,” he wrote.

On Monday, the mayor’s push secretary, Elizabeth Tufts, furnished information in reaction to a Globe inquiry.

She mentioned Picozzi, city finance director of finance Peder A. Schaefer, and chief of personnel Susan Nahabedian each individual owe $5,000 less than family well being insurance strategies, and Tufts explained she owes $2,000 under an specific well being program. She stated they all began doing the job for the city on the very same working day.

The town treasurer, Lynne Prodger, introduced the make a difference to Picozzi’s focus, Tufts reported. The city is not releasing the identify of the man or woman, referenced in Picozzi’s Fb write-up, who was out with COVID at the time, she stated.

All four staff members have signed a compensation plan, agreeing that double the ordinary premium will be deducted till the quantities owed are paid out off, Tufts explained. If their employment ends first, the comprehensive amount of money will grow to be due, she explained.

“A check is becoming performed on all other workers to make certain this miscalculation has not transpired with other workers,” Tufts claimed. The city’s data technological know-how section “is building a superior system,” she explained.

“The mayor will not be commenting past this,” Tufts stated.

Picozzi been given some praise for his announcement on Fb.

“Thank you for your honesty,” Micky Kotkofski wrote. “No just one would have recognized…except God. Great for you!”

“It’s great to be open up about it,” Christopher Cioe wrote. “I imagine it raises legitimate inquiries about reconciling and auditing citywide. Individuals make issues, it is unavoidable, but ideally there is redundancies to catch it like this occasion. Ideally for each individual metropolis section. This way no one can claim it’s fraud or misconstrue it to be just about anything else other than a mistake.”

But Picozzi’s submit also drew some skepticism and criticism.

“I find it about that you, your team and administrators have such small notice to depth,” Mary-Ann McCurry wrote. “If you really do not understand these a slip-up in your individual paycheck, how is there any consideration to detail in administration of the city? You experienced no alternative but to be forth coming. After all, you had to test to get in front of it.”

Rob Cote, a Warwick resident who often speaks at City Council conferences, questioned why Picozzi and the other individuals are finding 16 months to spend the money back soon after receiving 16 months of “gold plated” wellness insurance. “If I was $5,000 behind on my sewer bill, would the metropolis put me on a payment strategy?” he questioned. “No, they’d place my property up for tax sale, and I’d have to fork out the full quantity with curiosity and penalties, but the mayor gets special treatment method.”

Cote also questioned why Picozzi, who gets a $100,000 wage, and the other folks just can’t shell out back again the complete amount of money all at after. “Are these persons so fiscally dysfunctional that they don’t have 5 grand to make the city complete?” he explained. “If he’s earning $100,000 and doesn’t have $5,000, this guy doesn’t should have to be the mayor of the Monopoly video game, for God’s sake.”

Edward Fitzpatrick can be attained at [email protected]. Comply with him on Twitter @FitzProv.