GRADY COUNTY, Oklahoma - From July 2008 to July 2018, Grady County officials were overpaid by more than $727,000, according to a new report released by the Oklahoma State Auditor.

The biggest pay bump was approved in August 2008.

State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones said county officials gave themselves an 18 percent annual increase.

In 2018, Grady County officials were getting more than $20,000 more than the maximum annual salary allowed. 

"At the Excise Board meeting held August 26, 2008, the Grady County Assistant District Attorney stated that after reviewing the statutes and speaking with the State Auditor and Inspector’s Office, safety bonuses and salary increases would only be allowed for employees. This meeting was attended by the District 1 and District 3 County Commissioners, County Assessor, County Treasurer, County Clerk, Court Clerk, County Sheriff, and Assistant District Attorney.

"Contrary to the advice of the Assistant District Attorney, a salary increase of 18% approved for employees was also given to the county officials. We found no documentation that the BOCC approved the raises for the county officials other than the approval of the budget request for the Estimate of Needs. This budget request did not itemize the salary amount requested for each employee and county official, it only reflected the total amount per budgetary department. According to the payroll clerk, she was instructed by the County Clerk to add the percentage of salary increase approved for employees to all individuals in the payroll software system. In subsequent years, the county officials continued to receive the raises approved by the Excise Board for employees. The table below details the date, the amount per county official, and the percentage of the monthly increases in salary."

According to the investigative audit report, which was requested by District Attorney Jason M. Hicks, the auditor's office recommended Grady County authorities determine what and if any legal action is necessary.