Oceano general manager under investigation
May 31, 2011
An investigation into the Oceano Community Services District’s beleaguered general manager’s questionable increases in his own pay is underway following a CalCoastNews exclusive.
Raffaele Montemurro, the manager of the financially strapped district, consistently brags of his ability to cut costs on items such as light bulbs and printer paper while employee expenses skyrocketed during the past few months.
In his defense, Montemurro said that he had given only one employee a step raise and all other wages had remained the same.
However, after remaining constant for months, following the March resignation of Jim Hill, the only board member who regularly examined the district’s financial records, Raffaelle Montemurro’s net pay appears to have increased above his contracted amount, according to district records.
For example, in the latest payroll period that ran from May 12 through May 25, Montemurro logged in 110 hours in two weeks. He paid himself his regular salary as well as 20 hours sick pay, according to payroll records.
Montemurro did not respond to phone calls asking for comment.
On Friday, Oceano board members Matt Guerrero and Mary Lucey examined payroll records at the district office in an attempt to verify information uncovered by CalCoastNews.
“We don’t disagree with your findings,” said Matt Guerrero, an Oceano board member. “We are doing our own investigation.”
According to his contract, Montemurro can accrue one day of unused sick leave per month. If he leaves the district in good standing, he can transfer a portion of his accrued sick leave into his retirement account.
At a special board meeting tonight, board members are scheduled to discuss the discipline, dismissal or release of Montemurro. If terminated, Montemurro is contracted to receive three months salary.
However, if members of the board terminate Montemurro with cause, the district is no longer obligated to pay any severance pay.
During a CalCoastNews investigation, financial records where garnered through individuals and the district’s website. However, shortly after Guerrero and Lucey began reviewing financial records, someone mysteriously dismantled the district’s website.