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Too Much Vacation Gets County Worker Three Years Probation

NewsForPublicOfficials.com

March-22-09

Former Lorain County Ohio employee Phil Betleski was sentenced on March 3, 2009 to three years of criminal probation for using more vacation time than his employer allotted him.

Betleski’s problems began with a heated dispute with Lorain County Recorder Judy Nedwick in July 2008 after photos and videos "of a personal nature" were found on the county computer used by Betleski while he was away on one of his vacations. Nedwick informed him that this was a violation of county ethics code and warned him about doing it again. Betleski resigned over the incident and Mirta Remali replaced him as chief deputy clerk.

Remali discovered that Betleski had been allotting himself more vacation time than authorized by the county. She noted that Betleski had been taking the additional week-long vacation time since early in 2004. Betleski said that Nedwick told him to take additional vacation time as an enticement for him joining her staff and leaving his previous position within the county auditor's office. Nedwick denied the claim and filed theft in office charges against Betleski.

Remali noted in her investigation that Betleski had taken 150 hours of extra vacation time during his tenure with the county. He was paid $6,221 for 197 hours of unused vacation time that county records showed he had when he resigned.

Betleski pleaded guilty to the felony charge on January 5, 2008. Judge Judith Cross sentenced the former Lorain County chief deputy recorder to three years of probation on March 3, 2009 for using more vacation time than the county allotted him during his time in office. In addition, Cross ordered Betleski to make full restitution of the nearly $5,600 he took for time he was not awarded. Cross also told Betleski that if he should violate his probation in any way, she would not hesitate to send him to prison for 24 months.

“Generally, I’d just like to apologize for the situation,” Betleski said at his sentencing.


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