Clallam PUD treasurer-controller’s forced leave unrelated to handling of district funds, officials say

By Paul Gottlieb
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Josh Bunch, treasurer-controller at the Clallam County Public Utility District, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Bunch, who makes $136,000 a year, was placed on leave starting Tuesday “until further notice,” PUD General Manager Doug Nass said in an email to employees obtained by the Peninsula Daily News.

Bunch received a 4.5 percent raise from the tax district Jan. 1.

PUD Auditor Dave Papendrew is treasurer-controller during Bunch’s absence, Nass said in the email.

PUD board Vice President Ted Simpson said it was his understanding that the leave was not related to Bunch’s handling of PUD finances.

“I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said Friday.

“It will have no effect on the operation of the PUD as far as service is concerned,” he added.

He would give no details.

“It is a personnel matter, and while the process is taking place, it’s probably not a good idea to say much,” Simpson said.

“It’s got to run its course, and it will.

“You want your ship running smoothly, and when you get a bump like this, it disrupts everything.

“There’s been a lot of bumps before, and we’ll survive.”

Simpson said Bunch is in charge of the day-to-day accounting functions of the district and supervises the customer service representatives at the PUD’s main office at 2431 E. U.S. Highway 101.

The PUD has a 2014 budget of $72 million.

The district is not looking for a new treasurer-controller, Simpson said.

Asked whether Bunch will return, Simpson said, “I have no idea.”

Agency spokesman Mike Howe also would not comment on the move.

“Any comment I would make would give an indication as to the matter, and it is a personnel issue,” he said.

Bunch did not return calls Friday for comment.

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5060, or at pgottlieb@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: February 01. 2014 5:52PM
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