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Payrolls for hundreds of employees in Jefferson County are delayed



Pine Bluff, Arkansas – Payrolls for hundreds of Jefferson County workers will not arrive on schedule.

It’s unknown at this time when they will be paid.

There are two individuals to blame for the delay. Others have argued that they ought to be paid, notwithstanding the county judge’s opinion to the contrary.

A little over 400 workers and $50,000 make up the payroll.

“Employers don’t have to worry about employees coming to work, therefore employees shouldn’t have to worry about getting paid,” said Shajyveon Winston.

Winston has four years of experience with Jefferson County. He’s now concerned that he won’t have enough money to pay his expenses on schedule.

“Because even the bill I’ve got personally, [it’s] a bill that could cause legal jeopardy,” said Winston.

Checks for the employees should have arrived by now, but the payroll hasn’t been approved. That’s Gerald Robinson, the County Judge.

Judge Robinson stated that he is unable to act in good faith because two employees are receiving unpaid wages.

The daughter of the county assessor is one of those workers in question.

“The issue is she is working in my office,” said Assessor Gloria Tillman.

The previous assessor hired her daughter, who has been employed there since 2016. That was before Assessor Tillman assumed the role.

Officials acknowledge that the county ordinance contains a nepotism clause, but it’s unclear if this applies in this case.

“The ordinance states that I cannot employ any relatives. I did not employ her. It says that I cannot supervise her. I do not supervise her. I have a chief deputy and two supervisors within my office over her,” Tillman explained.

Gerald Robinson, the county judge, declared he would not approve the payroll unless the two employee issues were resolved.

He gave the county clerk a court order instructing her to take the two employees’ salaries out of question.

The county clerk, though, stated that’s not possible.

“I don’t have the legal authority and neither does he to remove another employee from another elected official’s payroll,” said Jefferson County Clerk Shawndra Taggart.

In response, the county judge told us, “I’m not going to sit there and stand by and let these individuals take county funds, knowing that they’re not legally bound to receive those funds.”

We looked for a lawyer who could assist in providing answers to these legal queries.

The prosecuting attorney stated he won’t become involved unless there is criminal intent, which he hasn’t yet looked into, and the county attorney is no longer in office.

There will be a community meeting on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the Reynolds Community Services Center if county employees have any questions.



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