83.9 F
Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, May 28, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesGERS Trustees Say Todmann Never Asked For Second Salary

GERS Trustees Say Todmann Never Asked For Second Salary

Government Employee Retirement System trustees so relied on Willis Todmann they considered hiring him to consult after his resignation, but he never sought approval for two salaries and the signature he submitted to Human Resources for processing appears fake, according to witness testimony.

"I was very proud of him for reaching the top of that organization and I thought he was doing a very good job," former trustee Yvonne Bowsky testified Friday, echoing the testimony of other trustees who served while Todmann was chief financial officer, acting administrator and administrator of GERS. "I really shouldn’t say this but I think I had absolute trust in him," Bowsky said.

But when asked if Todmann ever came to the trustees to ask for a salary increase while serving as acting administrator, Bowsky said "not that I can recall," again echoing other trustees who served with Todmann. The trustees said only the trustees could approve a salary increase, that Todmann never requested such an increase, and Todmann had tremendous experience and expertise concerning GERS procedures.

While Todmann was assigned extra duties, there already was a system in place to give extra compensation in those circumstances, Bowsky said. "The board policy was any acting administrator would get a 15 percent increase on top of their regular salary," she said.

Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)
Advertising (skip)

Asked how she felt upon discovering Todmann had been receiving two salaries, Bowsky testified she was in a state of disbelief.

"It is the last thing I would have expected," she said. "I said to Mr. Todmann, ‘How could you do this to me? You know I loved you like a son,’ because I knew what the media was going to do with this."

Along with grand larceny, embezzlement by a fiduciary and obtaining money by false pretense, prosecutors are charging Todmann with forgery for allegedly submitting a memorandum requesting a second salary to GERS’ human resources department with the forged signature of then-board chairman Carver Farrow and circling the word "approved" on the document. That forged signature was then used to have human resources produce a notice of personnel action that appeared to authorize a small raise in Todmann’s regular salary, but was processed to generate an entire second salary.

"Does that look like Mr. Farrow’s signature?" Assistant Attorney General Denise George asked.

"In my opinion it does not," Bowsky said. Farrow previously testified he did not sign it and the signature in question is easily distinguishable from Farrow’s actual signature on numerous GERS documents presented into evidence.

In laying out Todmann’s defense, attorney Treston Moore made no effort to suggest the signature on Todmann’s memorandum was real, instead arguing Todmann deserved two salaries because he performed both jobs, and that the NOPA used to generate the second salary was properly signed. Testimony Monday largely revolved around whether Todmann actually worked two complete 40-hours per week jobs during that period.

George showed several of Todmann’s personal time sheets from 2003, 2005 and 2007, from before, during and after his stint wearing both the hat of CFO and acting administrator of GERS, all indicating a fairly normal work week, with four to five eight-hour days and one or two days with four hours of additional "comp time" logged. Non-classified government employees do not get overtime, but can get time off, or compensated time, to use at a later date.

"You didn’t see 80 hours per pay period for each full time position on any pay sheet did you?" George asked current Chief Financial Officer Grasilda Dobbins, who handled Todmann’s pay sheets when he was CFO and acting administrator. "I don’t think I ever saw that," Dobbins said.

Moore suggested that Todmann may have chosen not to report all the hours he worked, reporting only eight hours, then reporting several hours of comp time, but chose not to mention another eight regular hours of work.

"There s no obligation to put down eight hours for Saturday or Sunday, if he came in, correct?" Moore asked Dobbins. Reporting all the hours you work beyond your regular schedule is not mandatory, Dobbins said.

Both sides rested their case Monday and after each side delivers a summation and the judge provides jury instructions, the case will go to the jury Tuesday.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

STAY CONNECTED

20,771FansLike
4,728FollowersFollow

Government Employee Retirement System trustees so relied on Willis Todmann they considered hiring him to consult after his resignation, but he never sought approval for two salaries and the signature he submitted to Human Resources for processing appears fake, according to witness testimony.

"I was very proud of him for reaching the top of that organization and I thought he was doing a very good job," former trustee Yvonne Bowsky testified Friday, echoing the testimony of other trustees who served while Todmann was chief financial officer, acting administrator and administrator of GERS. "I really shouldn't say this but I think I had absolute trust in him," Bowsky said.

But when asked if Todmann ever came to the trustees to ask for a salary increase while serving as acting administrator, Bowsky said "not that I can recall," again echoing other trustees who served with Todmann. The trustees said only the trustees could approve a salary increase, that Todmann never requested such an increase, and Todmann had tremendous experience and expertise concerning GERS procedures.

While Todmann was assigned extra duties, there already was a system in place to give extra compensation in those circumstances, Bowsky said. "The board policy was any acting administrator would get a 15 percent increase on top of their regular salary," she said.

Asked how she felt upon discovering Todmann had been receiving two salaries, Bowsky testified she was in a state of disbelief.

"It is the last thing I would have expected," she said. "I said to Mr. Todmann, 'How could you do this to me? You know I loved you like a son,' because I knew what the media was going to do with this."

Along with grand larceny, embezzlement by a fiduciary and obtaining money by false pretense, prosecutors are charging Todmann with forgery for allegedly submitting a memorandum requesting a second salary to GERS' human resources department with the forged signature of then-board chairman Carver Farrow and circling the word "approved" on the document. That forged signature was then used to have human resources produce a notice of personnel action that appeared to authorize a small raise in Todmann's regular salary, but was processed to generate an entire second salary.

"Does that look like Mr. Farrow's signature?" Assistant Attorney General Denise George asked.

"In my opinion it does not," Bowsky said. Farrow previously testified he did not sign it and the signature in question is easily distinguishable from Farrow's actual signature on numerous GERS documents presented into evidence.

In laying out Todmann's defense, attorney Treston Moore made no effort to suggest the signature on Todmann's memorandum was real, instead arguing Todmann deserved two salaries because he performed both jobs, and that the NOPA used to generate the second salary was properly signed. Testimony Monday largely revolved around whether Todmann actually worked two complete 40-hours per week jobs during that period.

George showed several of Todmann's personal time sheets from 2003, 2005 and 2007, from before, during and after his stint wearing both the hat of CFO and acting administrator of GERS, all indicating a fairly normal work week, with four to five eight-hour days and one or two days with four hours of additional "comp time" logged. Non-classified government employees do not get overtime, but can get time off, or compensated time, to use at a later date.

"You didn't see 80 hours per pay period for each full time position on any pay sheet did you?" George asked current Chief Financial Officer Grasilda Dobbins, who handled Todmann's pay sheets when he was CFO and acting administrator. "I don't think I ever saw that," Dobbins said.

Moore suggested that Todmann may have chosen not to report all the hours he worked, reporting only eight hours, then reporting several hours of comp time, but chose not to mention another eight regular hours of work.

"There s no obligation to put down eight hours for Saturday or Sunday, if he came in, correct?" Moore asked Dobbins. Reporting all the hours you work beyond your regular schedule is not mandatory, Dobbins said.

Both sides rested their case Monday and after each side delivers a summation and the judge provides jury instructions, the case will go to the jury Tuesday.