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Commission to consider Castillow back pay

By By JOHN WALLACE
Staff Writer
A special meeting of the Escambia County Commission has been called to discuss the status of former payroll clerk Donna Castillow's hearing before the Personnel Appeals Board.
The commissioners are expected to take action on the matter after receiving a letter from the board recommending Castillow's reinstatement with back pay, County Administrator Tony Sanks said.
Escambia County Commission Chairman Larry White confirmed that the matter will be on the agenda.
"It will be an item on the agenda for the special called meeting," White said. "I'm sure the county attorney will be prepared with a recommendation for the county. I'm sure he will be prepared to make a recommendation on what position the commission takes."
He said the reason for a special called meeting is so the matter can be resolved promptly.
"The commission is committed to resolving the matter as quickly as possible," White said.
The county received the recommendation in letter form on Wednesday afternoon and letters were sent to Castillow and her attorney, James G. Curenton, Jr., on Thursday.
The commissioners may either vote to reinstate Castillow per the Personnel Appeals Board recommendation or vote against the recommendation.
Castillow was employed by the county for approximately five years when she was terminated of her duties on February 26.
A number of irregularities occurred while Castillow was holding that position – timecards with correction fluid and writing over the date and times of when an employee allegedly clocked in and out; days when an employee's timecard showed she had worked eight hours despite the fact that she allegedly was not present for work at all on those days; the employee's timecards were not approved and signed by the chief clerk, but were signed by Escambia County Tax Collector Bob Bonner via a rubber stamp.
Castillow's termination was brought before the Personnel Appeals Board on Monday afternoon. The hearing, which was closed to the public due to possible discussion of the "good name and character" of current and former county employees, lasted approximately five hours. The board had five working days to make its recommendation to the county commission.
The called meeting is set for Thursday, April 19 at 9 a.m.