In the wake of an independent investigation on alleged payroll padding involving four senior officials of the Phebe Hospital in Bong County, another senior official is reportedly booked in a double salary scandal. The ANALYST has gathered from a reliable source in Gbarnga, Bong County, that the current auditor of Phebe Hospital and former Bong County Controller of the Project Management Committee (PMC), George L. Cooper has been allegedly receiving double salaries from the two institutions for the past five years in the County.
The latest brings to five, the number of corruption allegations that have consumed Phebe, where Administrator Kerson Saykor, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jackson, Human resource manager Jonathan Pewu, and Senior Accountant Jeremiah Akoi are suspended on account of payroll padding.
The Phebe Auditor has been dubiously receiving salaries from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) as Controller of the Bong County PMC that he is no serving while at the same time receiving regular pay from Phebe Hospital in Suakoko District as the sitting auditor of the institution.
According to a document in the procession of the ANALYST, George L. Cooper has been receiving his regular salary from the MIA since 2016. The document also revealed the signature of the current Phebe Hospital auditor receiving 3,315USD payment of six staff for the month of March and has also received 2,930 United States Dollars for the months of May, July, April and December as salary arrears from the County Development Funds (CDF) program in 2016.
Mr. Cooper has been in the employ of the hospital as an auditor since 2013 and receives nine hundred and fifty 950 United States dollars and 12 thousand Liberian dollars while receiving Seven Hundred Sixty Five United States Dollars ($765 USD) plus Seventy Six Thousand Five Hundred Liberian Dollars monthly from the County’s Development Funds program CDF monthly.
The document shows all of the payment requests were approved by Bong County Development Superintendent Anthony Boakai Sheriff upon taken office as acting superintendent for the period under review.
Recently, the hospital has suspended four senior members for payroll padding. They include Administrator Kerson Saykor, Chief Financial Officer Patrick Jackson, Human resource manager Jonathan Pewu, and Senior Accountant Jeremiah Akoi. They were suspended on July 19, all awaiting the conduct of audit at the Phebe Hospital for further action.
The Phebe Hospital’s Board of Directors and administration, in its Press conference recently, assured the employees and the public that everything will be done to find out the truth of the payroll padding allegation, and will later on inform the public following the audit and investigation.
“The hospital remains committed to the delivery of healthcare to citizens of Bong County and its adjacent counties” the hospital’s Medical Director Dr. Jefferson Sibley added.
Some residents of the County who spoke in an interview with this paper on Monday August 12, 2019 called on the County leadership to take step in the matter. The citizens also called on Mr. George L. Cooper to quit as auditor at the Government-run Phebe Hospital, and refund monies received for the past five years.
Additionally, it has being speculated in the County that the accused is also auditing four of his colleagues who were suspended by the administration of the hospital for the payroll padding allegation.
When contacted, the accused George Cooper promised to comment in soonest time possible.