MLGW employees rack up tens of thousands in overtime

MLGW employees are raking in six figures a year for overtime and you're paying for it.

Some MLGW employees practically doubled their salaries working overtime last year. That leaves critics wondering if the public utility is being as efficient as it can spending the public's money.

Former MLGW Board Member, Joe Saino, has made a hobby of questioning the public utility's expenditures , "I could see that the overtime was way out of sight," says Saino.

Saino's latest expedition into MLGW records revealed the utility has spent almost ten percent of its payroll for the last two years on overtime.

Saino adds, "General Foreman of gas distribution $81,000 salary, $46,000 in overtime."

Utility executives attribute the costs to a decrease in the use of outside contractors.

"From 2004 through 2006 we reduced the amount that we spent on contracted crews by $5 million and at the same token we increased the amount we spent on overtime by $5 million also, so its really a wash," says Cliff DeBerry.

In 2005, overtime at the utility reached $17.2 million. In 2006, they racked up $16.2 million in overtime.

DeBerry adds, "you know the overtime issue, there's just really a perception problem right now. So, we're going to form a committee to look at the situation and see what's the best approach to this."

That's encouraging news for Joe Saino who says the utility has been more cooperative since the departure of MLGW President Joseph Lee.

"Before Joe Lee always took the defensive position, 'oh no, there is nothing to this, everybody does it,' and that's proved not to be true," says Saino.

But Saino remains cautiously optimistic about the future at MLGW.

MLGW officials say the money is being spent on work that has to get done.

They say last year fifty-three percent of their payroll was spent on restoring power in emergency situations.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.