Updated 1:06 p.m.

GREENSBORO – Guilford County must pay about $165 in overtime after reopening the Register of Deeds Office late Friday after a federal judge overturned North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage.

But the office collected $1,634 in fees from issuing about 24 marriage licenses during that time, according to numbers compiled by the office this morning.

Most of the employee time will be absorbed through “flex time” within their next pay period, consistent with the county’s human resources policies, Registrar Jeff Thigpen said earlier this morning. After speaking with the human resources director later in the day, Thigpen said that two of the seven employees who volunteered to come back to process the applications of waiting couples, would have to be paid for their time.

Updated 10:25 a.m.

GREENSBORO — The Guilford County Register of Deeds office processed 12 more marriage licenses for gay couples between 8 and 9:30 a.m. today, Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen tweeted.

Thigpen came under criticism this weekend after reopening his office Friday evening to begin processing the licenses after hours. The office processed 24 licenses between 6:45 and 8 p.m. Friday.

Posted 8:11 a.m.

GREENSBORO — Guilford County Register of Deeds Jeff Thigpen responded this morning to criticism from members of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners for his decision to reopen his office to process marriage licenses Friday night.

In a written statement to the board, Thigpen pointed out that he had processed 23 marriage license through the course of the day on Friday, but for the hour and 15 minutes he and one-third of his staff worked late Friday, they processed an additional 24 marriage licenses.

Thigpen also pointed out that two other counties had reopened late Friday night.

On Sunday, conservative Guilford County Commissioner Alan Branson questioned Thigpen’s authority to reopen the office. He wondered what the extra cost to taxpayers would be.

But, in Thigpen’s statement released early this morning, Thigpen said seven staff members volunteered to perform the work.

“There was no additional cost or time incurred by Guilford County security,” Thigpen said in the statement. “The additional time worked by Register of Deeds employees will be be absorbed through ‘flex time’ within their next pay period meaning consistent with Human Resources policies.”

Thigpen said that he checked with counsel, who assured him that he had the legal authority to extend office hours to issue the marriage licenses.

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Contact Joe Gamm at (336) 373-7090, and follow @joegammNR on Twitter.

Contact Nancy McLaughlin at (336) 373-7049, and follow @nmclaughlinNR on Twitter.  

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