Judge: Fired Polk County official failed to report salary from second job

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When the laid-off Polk County human resources manager applied for unemployment benefits earlier this year, he allegedly failed to report wages he was receiving from a second part-time job.

According to Iowa Workforce Development records, James Nahas began working for Dowling College (a trade name for Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines) in late 2010, and was a seasonal assistant basketball coach of mid-November 2020 to March of this year. . For this work he was paid $ 4,832.

During part of this time, Nahas also worked for Polk County as a full-time human resources manager, earning around $ 160,000 per year. On January 5, Nahas was fired by the county, which alleged he had been less than forthright with investigators investigating allegations of sexual harassment against Polk County supervisor Matt McCoy. Nahas then applied for unemployment benefits.

Although the IWD has yet to make a final decision on Nahas’ eligibility for benefits due to his dismissal from Polk County, Nahas’s jobless claim has generated a weekly benefit of $ 605.

In early May, Nahas returned to working for Dowling as the school’s sophomore baseball coach for the 2021 season, earning a salary of $ 4,477. This work ended on July 12.

IWD now says Nahas did not report his salary to Dowling when he filed his weekly and continuous claims for unemployment benefits.

Administrative judge Daniel Zeno recently ruled that Nahas was only considered “partially unemployed” since his dismissal from Polk County, meaning that there is now a question whether his failure to report wages earned. by Dowling resulted in the overpayment of unemployment benefits.

In his decision, Zeno referred this matter to the IWD Benefits Integrity Office for investigation and decision. Even if it turns out that Nahas was overpaid, the dollar amounts involved will likely be very small.

Nahas’ attorney Nicholas Mauro could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.


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