In January, DSS Director Mary Wilson wrote a letter telling workers the county would reimburse them for 50 percent of their college tuition, fees and books. The letter says the county would provide reimbursement retroactively, to January 2006.
Click here to read Wilson's e-mail.
As a result, Mecklenburg County paid $111,631 for 37 Department of Social Services employees who took college courses or other training.
The Observer and its news partner, NewsChannel 36, inquired about the expenditure last week, as detailed in Saturday's story.
Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones on Friday defended using taxpayer money to help pay college tuition for county DSS workers despite proposing reductions in county services and job losses.
Commissioner Bill James criticized the decision, calling it a “dumb thing to do” in a faltering economy.
County board chairperson Jennifer Roberts said the “timing of these reimbursements is questionable.” But she also noted that employees paid their own money for training to make them better at their jobs.
- Fred Clasen-Kelly