Sedgwick County chief financial officer Chris Chronis sent an e-mail today to all county employees apologizing for a statement he made Tuesday that “some of our employees have sticky fingers.”
Chronis was talking about charging a fee for taking payments by credit card when he made the comment, which raised the eyebrows of many elected officials and staff. Chronis said paying a fee to credit card companies to process payments by plastic is a cost of doing business and is preferable to taking payments by check or cash. He later told The Eagle that he didn’t mean there was a theft problem at the county, but he said anyone can be tempted when handling cash.
County Manager William Buchanan said Tuesday that there were not any problems with employees stealing cash. That was echoed by Treasurer Linda Kizzire.
Here is Chronis’ e-mail:
“Yesterday in commission staff meeting, we had a discussion about imposing a credit card fee to users who pay real estate and motor vehicle taxes with credit cards, in an attempt to reduce our county expenditures by more than $1 million. The county currently does not impose any fee on those who choose to use credit cards to make payments. In my presentation of my recommendation that we not change our current process, I presented information that placed Sedgwick County and the employees of this organization in a negative light. I am sorry that I did that. I am sorry I used the phrase “sticky fingers” when explaining to commissioners my view that we should not take action that could cause more people to pay us with cash instead of credit cards. I am sorry if my words implied that county employees were dishonest. Those were my words, but that was not my intent. I should not have used those words or made that implication. For that I apologize.
I know Sedgwick County employees are honest, and I am honored to be associated with them. I regret that my words may have damaged the good reputation Sedgwick County has earned.”