More than two months after he was fired as director of Laurel County Public Safety and Emergency Management, Brian Reams has filed a complaint with the Kentucky Labor Cabinet for almost 2000 hours of back overtime pay.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Laurel County Fiscal Court, Judge-Executive Lawrence Kuhl told the magistrates he had received a letter from the Labor Cabinet notifying him of Reams’ claim he is due payment for 1927.5 hours of overtime hours from the last two years and seeking documentation from the county.

“It’s a complicated question but the county’s position is that Brian was a salaried employee,” Laurel County Attorney Elmer Cunnagin said, noting salaried employees are exempt from overtime.

Officials at the judge-executive’s office said Reams’ salary was $58,000 a year.

In March, a state audit of Laurel County Emergency Management revealed the emergency operations center was more than $200,000 over budget.

In addition, state auditors indicated Reams misappropriated a $1.8 million federal grant, using the Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparation Program grant to buy emergency equipment that was far inferior to what the grant specified. According to auditors, Reams, of his own accord, awarded the contract to buy the equipment to PREP, a business owned by a woman who later became his wife.

Staff writer Dean Manning may be reached at dmanning@sentinel-echo.com.

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