In today’s related story, The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette found that when Bluffton police chief Joey Reynolds retires at the end of next week, much of his five-year tenure as chief was spent traveling and working as a board member of the FBI National Academy Associates, an alumni association for police officers who have gone through FBI National Academy training.
Reynolds’ current annual taxpayer-funded salary is $118,059. Our analysis concluded that the town of Bluffton paid Reynolds approximately $78,738.60 of his salary while he was away on FBI NAA business. We also found that, as of June 7, he was entitled to a payout of $41,911.20 for his unused paid-time-off hours, which could have been used to offset his town salary paid during FBI NAA travels.
Let’s start with the payout of unused PTO hours to which Reynolds is entitled when he retires.
Here’s how we calcuated the total: As of June 7, 2017, the chief had accrued 1,007.5 hours of PTO (when divided by 7.8-hour days — the base work day, according to town payroll records — that comes out to 129 days) since he started in September 2012, according to the town of Bluffton. He used 287.5 hours of PTO since his hire (nearly 37 PTO days). That leaves 720 unused PTO hours (92 PTO days) as of June 7.
Those 720 unused PTO hours multiplied by $58.21 — his current hourly pay rate, according to the town of Bluffton — equals $41,911.20.
If Reynolds uses more PTO hours from June 8 to June 30, he would receive a smaller cash payout. Under town policy, the PTO-hour accrual caps out at 720 hours, which means that $41,911.20 is the maximum Reynolds could receive.
Next, let’s talk the amount of town salary Reynolds was paid while he was traveling for the FBI NAA.
We based our calculations on Reynolds’ payroll records to make sure we were consistent. Based on those records, here’s how we broke down Reynolds’ hourly rate of pay:
2012: $48.76 per hour
2013: $48.76 per hour
2014: $50.23 per hour
2015: $52.77 per hour
2016: $55.44 per hour
2017: $58.21 per hour
Since Reynolds’ paycheck is calculated 39 hours per week, that divides into 7.8 hours per weekday. Next, we multiplied the number of weekdays Reynolds traveled per year by 7.8 hours to find out how many hours he was paid by the town while he traveled. Here’s what we found for the first three years:
2012: 3 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 23.4 hours
2013: 15 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 117 hours
2014: 31 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 241.8 hours
But from 2015 to 2017, these calculations get a little bit trickier. Why? Some of the PTO hours Reynolds used overlapped with his FBI NAA travel. The payroll records did not specify, however, whether Reynolds applied those PTO hours to his NAA travel. So, in these calculations, we gave Reynolds the benefit of the doubt and subtracted his PTO hours from his total weekday hours if there were any possibility of overlap.
Here’s what we found:
2015: 36 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 280.8 hours.
But the chief also took 55.3 PTO hours that could have overlapped with his FBI NAA travel.
So, 280.8 hours - 55.3 hours = 225.5 hours.
2016: 76 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 592.8 hours.
But the chief also took 39.7 PTO hours that could have overlapped with his FBI NAA travel.
So, 592.8 hours - 39.7 hours = 553.1 hours.
2017: 39 weekdays x 7.8 hours = 304.2 hours.
But, as of May 4 (that’s the latest date on the payroll records we obtained), the chief also took 9 PTO hours that could have overlapped with his FBI NAA travel.
So, 304.2 hours - 9 hours = 295.2 hours.
Now that we’ve calculated, broken down by year, the number of hours the chief traveled while paid on his town salary, we can multiply that using his hourly rate for that year.
2012: $48.76 x 23.4 hours = $1,140.98
2013: $48.76 x 117 hours = $5,704.92
2014: $50.23 x 241.8 hours = $12,145.61
2015: $52.77 x 225.5 hours = $11,899.64
2016: $55.44 x 553.1 hours = $30,663.86
2017: $58.21 x 295.2 hours = $17,183.59
Add that up, and the total comes to $78,738.60 — a conservative estimate of Reynolds’ regular salary when he was paid while he traveled for the FBI NAA.