KOKOMO – Charges are likely to be filed Monday against two Howard County employees fired on Friday after an investigation determined they were paid for private work completed during county work hours.

Howard County Highway Department employees Brian Nation and Chris Hawkins were terminated after officials learned they had worked on non-county vehicles during normal work hours and received compensation from vehicle owners, confirmed Howard County Commissioner Paul Wyman in a statement.

Howard County Prosecutor Mark McCann said the prosecutor’s office has presented a count of conversion for both Nation and Hawkins to Superior Court 3 Judge Doug Tate for review and filing. Charges are likely to be filed Monday morning, he noted.

In his statement, Wyman further explained the firing and provided a message to local taxpayers.

“A thorough investigation confirmed this fact, and also disclosed that some of the owners of these non-county vehicles were charged for this work,” said Wyman in a statement. “As a result of these actions, the two individuals no longer work for Howard County, effective [Friday] morning.

“The taxpayers entrust all county employees with their tax dollars and without exception those dollars should be spent providing the services necessary to operate an effective government.”

An employee compensation report accessed online through Indiana Gateway shows that Nation, listed as a mechanic for the county’s highway department, was paid $40,251 in 2016. Hawkins, also a mechanic, received $39,168.

Efforts to reach Howard County Highway Department Superintendent Ted Cain were not successful.

George Myers can be reached at 765-454-8585, by email at george.myers@kokomotribune.com or on Twitter @gpmyerskt.

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George Myers covers city and county government. He joined the Kokomo Tribune on November 18, 2014.