Hoke review says sheriff's office had overtime irregularities

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A Hoke County review alleges overtime irregularities in the sheriff's office.

Hoke County officials announced Monday night that an internal payroll overtime review found irregularities in the sheriff's department.

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The review was supported by Cherry Bekaert, LLP, and The Charleston Group.

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Cherry Bekaert's conclusion is that 29 jailers and five Sheriff's deputies identified in its report should be "thoroughly scrutinized by the SBI to determine if their highly irregular overtime was substantially justified and appropriately authorized."

The report's conclusions confirm the initial results presented to the County on May 15. The only overtime Cherry Bekaert found to be highly irregular in its work were these employees in the Sheriff's Office and Detention Center.

Cherry Bekaert found that these employees in the Sheriff's operations had several instances of the same types of overtime irregularities as Dedrick Graham, the deputy that Sheriff Hubert Peterkin dismissed on February 21.

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Cherry Bekaert found that the total dollar amount of this potentially improper overtime grew substantially over the years it examined, especially between FY2012 and FY2014. The amount of overtime grew despite the fact that, over these three years, the combined staff in the Sheriff's Office and Detention Center also appeared to grow by 12 people. The total amount of questionable overtime exceeds $700,000.

The County will share the Cherry Bekaert report with these final results with the District Attorney and SBI by June 23.

Peterkin, who originally called in the SBI to investigate Hoke County government offices, has declined to release his department's records to the county in its investigation.

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In February, SBI agents raided county offices, seizing payroll records. A deputy and a county human resources employee later resigned.

Shortly afterward, the county hired the outside accounting firm to conduct an investigation.

Peterkin left the meeting Monday night without comment.
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SBIinvestigationHoke County NewsRaeford
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