High-level county finance manager under review for job overlap

A high-level Snohomish County finance manager who coordinates all major purchases faces a personnel investigation in the Nevada school district that employed her until recently.

Bramby Tollen started working as Snohomish County’s purchasing manager in June, while on leave with the Las Vegas-area Clark County School District. There was about two and a half months of overlap.

The Nevada district has opened a probe.

“We cannot comment on pending investigations,” district spokeswoman Melinda Malone said in a prepared statement. “Ms. Tollen did resign from the Clark County School District, effective Aug. 29.”

Tollen did not return a call or email Friday seeking comment.

Her start date in Snohomish County was June 13.

In her old job, she worked for one of the country’s largest school districts, with an enrollment of more than 320,000 students.

Her new job in Snohomish County involves a crucial role managing a $225 million annual operating budget and total revenues of about $840 million. The job pays $98,000 per year.

Snohomish County officials say they’re not rushing to judgment and don’t want to violate Tollen’s employment rights.

They’ll wait to see what the Clark County schools turn up.

“When they’re done with that investigation, if she violated their rules or regulations or policy, they’re going to let us know,” Deputy County Executive Mark Ericks said. “We’ll make a determination at that point.”

The issue, Ericks said, appears to involve policies surrounding the Family and Medical Leave Act, commonly referred to as FMLA.

“My understanding is that she left her former employer and was burning off leave and was doing it with permission,” he said.

The director of the union that represents Clark County School District administrators, however, gave Las Vegas media outlets a very different picture.

“Under no circumstances would we condone someone being on sick leave and drawing a salary here while having gainful employment somewhere else,” Stephen Augspurger told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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