Insurance claim filed in Mexico Beach retirement payout

Published: Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 09:50 AM.

During the Mexico Beach City Council’s regular meeting in July, city attorney Paul Komarek reported that in 2008, former city clerk Patricia Hutchinson received retirement payments of more than $70,000, money intended to be paid to 19 different retired employees.

The mistake was found in April and had been researched by Komarek before bringing it to the council’s attention. At the encouragement of the council, interim city administrator Marcus Collins filed a claim with Kemper Insurance to compensate the 19 employees still awaiting payouts.

Last week Collins reported that the claim had been turned over to an adjustor and that starting this week he would be receiving weekly updates while the insurance company decided whether or not they would reimburse the city for the funds.

“(The adjustor) will be taking care of business until they reach a final conclusion,” said Collins.

At the July regular meeting city attorney Paul Komarek suggested that the city work with Bay County to open a criminal investigation as well to investigate whether or not the money was mistakenly given to Hutchinson with or without the authorization of the council.

The paperwork for Hutchinson’s payment was signed by former city administrator Chris Hubbard, but it only allotted Hutchinson her share. The insurance company will also decide what to do about the funds dispersed to her.

Collins said it would be up to the insurance company to decide if a criminal investigation was in order.

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