Fired county employee charged with $7,000 in wage theft

2014-06-06T16:35:00Z 2014-06-07T00:05:43Z Fired county employee charged with $7,000 in wage theftBy EDDIE GREGG egregg@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

Prosecutors have charged a fired county employee with taking about $7,000 in payment for road-maintenance work he claimed to have done in 2012 and 2013.

Richard Kenneth Hissom of Worden appeared in Yellowstone County District Court on Friday and pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of common scheme theft.

According to charging documents, the Yellowstone County Road and Bridge Department hired Hissom at $24.68 an hour to work from his home to grade and maintain public roads. Hissom, who was assigned a county pickup and road grader, was supposed to report his work to a supervisor every day.

On April 17, 2013, another county employee drove by Hissom’s home in Worden and noticed the county-owned pickup and road grader parked there during normal business hours, court records state. The man reported this to Road and Bridge Department Manager Tim Miller.

The next day, Hissom reported in to his supervisor and did not report he didn’t work the day before. Over the next several days, other county employees determined that Hissom lied about working on multiple road projects, charging documents state. On several dates Hissom claimed to be out working, a GPS tracker on the county’s road grader indicated the machinery never moved from Hissom’s residence.

A Billings police detective investigated the case and determined that Hissom was paid $6,935.08 for time that he did not work between the beginning of December 2012 and end of April 2013.

Hissom remains free from custody without bond pending resolution of the case.

Copyright 2015 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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