Sedgwick County chief financial officer Chris Chronis today raised some eyebrows when he said “Some of our employees have sticky fingers” during a discussion about whether the county should begin charging customers a fee to pay taxes and other bills by credit card.
Chronis is against passing on the fee for using plastic to customers, saying credit- and debit-card transactions are preferable to payments by check and cash.
“Employees sometimes steal cash, constituents sometimes steal from the county by paying us with bad checks,” he said in an e-mail to commissioners and other county leaders. “Neither opportunity exists with credit card payments.”
He repeated that message today during a meeting with commissioners and staff.
Treasurer Linda Kizzire took exception to Chronis’ comments and said she knows of no problems in her office with staff stealing money.
“I’ve got excellent cash control policies and procedures in place, and if there was a problem, I would deal with it very swiftly and promptly,” Kizzire said after the meeting. “None of my staff are sticky- fingered thieves.”
County Manager William Buchanan agreed.
“We do not, have not had a problem with theft,” he told The Eagle. “Employees in the treasurer’s office or elsewhere that handle cash have not, in my 20 years here, taken things that did not belong to them.”
Asked later about his comment, Chronis said theft was not a problem at the county.
” My point was not that county employees are less trustworthy than other people, but rather than human nature being as it is, in any large group that’s given easy access to a lot of cash, someone may succumb to temptation. The more payments we receive via credit card, the less the temptation,” he said.