On his way out of office, Gov. Pat McCrory ordered accrued vacation and bonus leave payouts to his 10 Cabinet secretaries — money they would not otherwise have been entitled to receive.
Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has tentatively halted the payments, which could have amounted to as much at $166,000.
The top executives were exempt from state personnel regulations, and so were not eligible to receive the payouts under typical circumstances.
McCrory on Dec. 29 wrote to the state controller and the interim director of the Office of State Human Resources telling them to send the payouts “as if they were regular state employees,” retroactive to their first day of employment in the exempt position.
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“These irregular payments have been brought to the attention of the administration and halted pending further review,” Cooper spokesman Ford Porter said in an emailed response when asked about the letter on Thursday.
The Cooper administration says the payments authorized by McCrory could have totaled as much as $166,000.
How much individual secretaries were to receive depended on whether they had previously worked in state government or whether they, like Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Donald van der Vaart, took another job with the state.
Those officials headed the departments of public safety, health and human services, environmental quality, natural and cultural resources, revenue, administration, information technology, military and veteran’s affairs, commerce and transportation.
The N&O asked the state Office of Human Resources if previous governors had made similar arrangements. The office referred the question to the governor’s office, which said it did not know.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that former McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz says McCrory followed practices similar to what former Govs. Jim Hunt and Jim Martin had used related to compensating their workers.