Retired Nevada County Undersheriff John Trauner, kept on for a full year after his official retirement in law enforcement, is working for the county again – this time in human resources.
The former number two man at the Sheriff’s Office is helping implement a new personnel computer program for the human resources department, according to county Human Resources Director Gayle Satchwell. Trauner also is handling discipline investigations and dealing with labor relations issues.
In his part-time job of 12 hours per week, Trauner is making about $635 weekly at $53.09 per hour, according to Satchwell. Annualized, that would come to $33,000.
Trauner’s assignment started in mid-January and will end in mid-March, Satchwell said.
“This was not an advertised position,” Satchwell said Wednesday. “We had a very specialized need, and Mr. Trauner’s skill set met that need. It’s temporary, not like a regular position,” and Trauner is not receiving benefits under his part-time job.
Trauner said Satchwell and County Executive Officer Rick Haffey asked him to take the job.
After retiring at the end of 2006, Trauner continued as the undersheriff for another year under Sheriff Keith Royal.
Trauner, 53, was drawing a pension and regular salary at the same time totaling about $200,000 annually.
The practice, known as “double-dipping,” was criticized by some residents in the county after it was disclosed in March 2007. Some residents and public officials have suggested raising the retirement age for some public-sector workers to address the ongoing issue in government.
Trauner retired in December 2006 as undersheriff and began drawing a pension of about $8,000 a month. But he continued to work as undersheriff – to ease the transition for his replacement, Royal said at the time – and earned an additional hourly pay totaling about $8,700 monthly.
In March 2007, Royal cited the benefit of Trauner’s experience and said he hoped Trauner would “stay toward the end of the year. … He’s a great mentor to everybody.”
At the end of December 2007, Trauner retired again after 31 years of service to the department.
On Jan. 15, Royal promoted Lt. Richard Kimball to the undersheriff post. Also in mid-January, Trauner went back to work, this time a few days a week for the county’s HR department.
“I’m in the middle of building a house, and time is precious,” Trauner said. “It’s temporary, and in a few weeks I’ll be back on the ranch.”
Trauner said he continues to draw his $8,000 per month pension while working part-time for the county.
“It’s a state pension and doesn’t come out of the (county’s) general fund,” Trauner said.
The pension was earned from his years of work in the sheriff’s office, and the county paid into the fund.
Trauner was hired as a deputy in March 1976 and became undersheriff under former Sheriff Troy Arbaugh in 1996. Trauner’s father, John T. Trauner, was the Nevada County Auditor-Controller and worked for the county for 32 years from 1948 to 1980.
Asked if she expected criticism for hiring Trauner, Satchwell said, “I would hope not.”
Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister contributed to this article. To contact Senior Staff Writer Dave Moller, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4237.
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