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Goliad commissioner under investigation over changes in time cards

By By Caty Hirst - CHIRST@VICAD.COM
July 20, 2012 at 2:20 a.m.
Updated July 22, 2012 at 2:22 a.m.

Daphne Buelter

A Goliad County commissioner is being investigated over claims he altered his employees' timecards.

Jim Kreneck, commissioner in Precinct 3, said he did allow his staff to work on July 4 and have July 5 off, at their request, but said he did not alter timecards to show the change.

"There was no fraud, no monetary loss to the county," Kreneck said. "The time sheet shows we worked 40 hours and we worked 40 hours."

Daphne Buelter, county treasurer, confirmed the time cards had been altered.

The county's time system, which uses the employees' fingerprints to clock-in, originally showed the crew worked July 4. That entry was then deleted and the crew's time was entered on July 5.

Only an administrator or someone with the administrator's password could change the time entered.

David Bowman, county judge, said the time system "is set up to safeguard against anybody getting in there."

Kreneck said he does not know how the alteration occurred.

"I don't know if we have had a security leak with passwords, or what," Kreneck said. "I changed my password today because I had never changed it since the system was installed. And I did not change the time, because, to be honest, I don't know how to do that. Anytime I had a problem like that, I would call the treasurer's office."

Ron Bailey, who is running against Kreneck in the July 31 Republican Party runoff election, said he saw Kreneck's crew working on the Fourth and filed an open-records request with the county treasurer to see the time sheets.

Bowman said the matter is under investigation, but would not say by whom or what agency.

He also said there have been some timecard irregularities by more than one elected official. He would not release the names of any other elected officials.

The Victoria Advocate has filed an open-records request for that information.

Ted Long, commissioner for Precinct 4, said the move is purely political.

"It is all politics, and if you don't believe that, ask the judge why he only mentioned the one person who he has launched an investigation on," Long said. "Of the elected officials, why did he only mention the one person that is in a runoff election? It is all political, and at the end of the day, it didn't cost the taxpayer a single penny and no employee had any personal gain, and certainly Mr. Kreneck didn't."

County Auditor Susana G. Morón said she has not been asked to investigate the case.

Bailey said the matter should be investigated.

"Where I came from, the chemical company where I started my adult career, one of the first things you learned is that you don't alter time sheets," Bailey said. "That was the quickest way to lose your job, if you falsify that kind of information."

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