Staffing issues cost county more than $200K

Local News

In the last year, Faribault County has spent more than $200,000 due to staffing shortages in the auditor-treasurer and human resources offices.

In total, the county has doled out $240,014 for “professional services” and other expenses.

Following the resignation of auditor-treasurer Darren Esser in June 2023, commissioners passed a resolution to make the position one that is appointed by the board rather than being elected by voters.

So, the five-member board approved a contract with Abdo Solutions of Mankato not to exceed $175,000 through last October to provide accounting until a replacement is found.

However, the agreement with Abdo had to be extended because of two other vacancies in the auditor/treasurer’s office.

The firm also was paid up to $9,000 until someone was hired for the human resources director position previously filled. When the final numbers were tallied, Abdo was paid $231,071.55 for their services.

Last April, commissioners turned to former County Auditor John Thompson for help when auditor Amy Sathoff, who was hired in October 2023, was terminated in March for not meeting performance criteria during her six-month probationary period.

A billing report provided by County Coordinator Brian Hov shows Thompson submitted expenses for May and July.

Thompson was paid a total of $8,942.97, earning $3,810 for professional services in May as well as $830.80 for mileage and $461.37 for lodging.

In July, Thompson earned wages of $2,970, mileage reimbursement of $538.56 and $332.24 for three nights of lodging.

The board approved the hiring of Amanda Shoff as the human resources director in February and Kari Jacobson as the new county auditor/treasurer in May.

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