Hardin County employees laid off while others receive IOU's

By Julia Bruck - bioemail

HARDIN COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Imagine you just finished a busy day at the office.  However, for all those efforts, you do not receive a paycheck.  Instead, you get an IOU.

That is the case for all elected officials in Hardin County.

Stop by the Hardin County Courthouse around lunchtime and you typically here laughter as employees share their lunch break.

"Notice you don't hear too much laughing and joking out there today," Hardin County Clerk and Recorder Mary Ellen Denton said.

Instead, Denton gave a hug to one of the laid off deputies.

She had just finished a few hours of volunteer work at her old job in the circuit clerk's office.

Meanwhile, Thelma finished her duties in the Denton's office.  She also volunteered.

"It hurts when people that are so good to do their job and they come in and they're not getting paid for it," Denton said.

Denton, along with all other elected county officials, is not being paid for her efforts either.

Instead, the county now issues IOU's.

County Board Chairman Wayne Eichron said at the end of April the county ran out of money for payroll.  He said the state now owes the county more than $300,000.

"We're living day by day and we're trying to get our bills paid the ones that have been in the rears," Eichron said.

The bills include $45,000 in unpaid claims on Denton's desk, along with several other to do's.

Across the hall, Hardin County Circuit Clerk Nancy Pennell is just as busy.

Jackaleen Arnold just in her office arrived from Kentucky.

"We appreciate you being here because we drove an hour and a half," Arnold said.

It is those like Arnold and many others, which county officials told Heartland News is their motivation to come to work for free.

"I can make if for a little while if it will help the county.  But it just become a part of life and you want to see the stuff done right," Denton added.

Eicrhron said a small group of county employees would receive paychecks this month.  Those include the skeleton public safety crew and the supervisor of assessment.

He added the county is still looking into closing the courthouse a few days a month to save on utility dollars.

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