Overpaid Chilton County school worker is the wife of a school board member

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CHILTON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) – Members of the Chilton County School Board were scheduled to meet on Wednesday, April 27, but the meeting has been canceled. This is after the district discovered thousands of dollars in overpayments dating back several years.

School board member Chris Smith told WBRC that one of the overpaid employees, Shellie Smith, was his wife.

Chilton County Superintendent Jason Griffin said the board meeting was to discuss new hires, but he postponed it until May for a break.

AEA officials said as of April 27, no other employees had sent letters other than the three, including Smith, dining room manager Christie Payne and a school bus driver.

All three are being asked to pay back thousands of dollars each and many parents say they think it’s unfair because they feel their tax money has been wasted and school employees in already do enough.

“It’s very unfair,” said mother Jennifer Fesmire. “A lot of them put their own money into it. In the classrooms, in the things they do, most for the kids. Things they don’t have to provide.

“We put money in tax dollars to help pay for that, but the teachers also paid extra taxes on that,” Fesmire said. “Now they are charging them interest when they have already paid.”

The WBRC also contacted the district’s chief financial officer, the state Department of Education, and several Chilton County elected officials to inquire about how a district might be overpaying employees for multiple years, but did not. had no response.

In a recent statement from the Chilton County Board of Education, they said: “We cannot comment on specific personnel matters. The Chilton County School Board recently uncovered several overpayments. These overpayments date back several years and were initiated prior to the tenure of the current finance department, superintendent and board of directors. By Board policy and by law, Board officials are required to recover any overpayments. We are aware of the financial impact this case may have on our employees, and we are working to balance this impact with our obligation to recover the funds.

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