Coroner’s office battling budget issues, Harwood says it’s a contract problem

Local News

The Peoria County Coroner’s Office is battling budget problems. The office’s leader says the county isn’t giving his office enough money to do what it needs to do.

Coroner Jamie Harwood says an increase workload is part of the issue. Harwood added that the biggest issue is his employee’s contract language. Whenever Harwood’s employees are called in outside of their regular shift, it’s a requirement that they’re paid at least four hours of overtime.

However, he says the money in his office’s budget doesn’t cover those expenses.

This isn’t a new issue, but the coroner says under previous leadership, this contract requirement hadn’t been honored. Several board members believed that the coroner’s spending was to blame.

“When a deputy is called in whether full time or part time you get four hours of overtime,” said Harwood. “We’re not budgeted for that, and we’ve never been budgeted for that.”

The County Board approved an increase of $125,000 to the coroner’s budget. Board members say a resolution to this issue needs to happen soon.

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