Former Richmond school official asked to pay back $180,000

Posted at 12:13 AM, Aug 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-07 00:13:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)—CBS 6 reported on an investigation in April 2012, about a practice known as “double-dipping” after finding documentation that the high level administrative position, Chief of Staff of Richmond Public Schools, was being considered a part time or temporary job.

We asked about then Chief of staff for RPS, Ronald Carey. He'd held the temporary position for three years and seven months and made close to $400,000 during that period, all while in retirement. We were told then that Carey was working part-time and bridging a gap.

"The retirees are not meant to stay on, they're here to help on a temporary basis,” said RPS spokesperson Felicia Cosby, in April 2012.

We even showed the Virginia Retirement System our findings and they told us retirees by law can only work up to 80 percent of the hours of a full time job. Now a little more than a year after our story VRS has given RPS a bill for $180,000.

School officials say it's for money Carey collected, working beyond the part-time requirement.

We contacted Carey by phone Tuesday night and even paid a visit to his Henrico home but never heard back.

"We've got to reduce the number and the extent to which we use retirees in Richmond Public Schools," said Richmond school board chair Jeff Bourne.

Bourne says for legal reasons he can’t comment on Carey's case specifically but that double dipping is a practice that can't continue. If it does he contends the school district and taxpayers will continue to pay the price.

"In a crunch you need people with experience but temporary should be temporary," said Bourne.