Munford failed to alert payroll admin about selectmen stipend intentions
KINGSTON- The State Ethics Commission could neither confirm nor deny KingstonJournal.com reports that Kingston’s newest selectman, Susan Munford, is being investigated for ethics violations on Wednesday afternoon.
The reports stem from a Facebook post written by Munford detailing an ethics complaint and a conversation with the State Ethics Commission this week.
Munford maintains that she was unaware her $800 selectman stipend had been combined with her police officer salary. Munford is a sergeant with the Kingston Police Department.
“There was no itemization on my check and I didn’t even notice the extra money,” Munford told KingstonJournal.com.
Munford has since arranged for $492 to be deducted from her next police check and returned to the Town of Kingston.
It is a violation of Massachusetts General Laws (Chapter 268a, Section 20) for a sitting selectman to receive compensation for two town offices simultaneously.
During an April conversation with Kingston’s Town Counsel, Munford was made aware of the law which prohibits selectmen from receiving compensation for two town offices.
According to Munford, she informed Kingston Town Counsel that she did not want to receive her selectmen stipend. On Wednesday night, Munford told KingstonJournal.com that she never alerted the payroll administrator about her intentions to only receive her police officer salary.
The payroll administrator, Eileen Granholm, confirmed Munford’s statement.
Granholm, who works in the treasurer’s office, orchestrates the town payrolls before submitting them to the selectmen’s office for approval by the town administrator.
Last Friday, Kingston Treasurer Ken Stevens told KingstonJournal.com he could see how $30 a week could be “easily missed.”
“Ignorance is no excuse for the law but it’s the best excuse when you don’t know you’ve done something wrong,” Stevens said yesterday.
Munford says that she was also questioned by the State Ethics Commission about conflict of interest regarding two votes she took earlier this year.