Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19, 2016 County Commission Executive Session: Settlement?

County Attorney Chris Capps is holding an executive session with his clients (county commission) today at 4:15.

Best bet is that the major topic is a proposed settlement of the Sheriff's salary suit against the county.

After the trial of this matter, Brittain told Capps and the other attorneys hired to represent the county to file an appeal. That appeal has not been heard.

Because this is not a meeting open to the public, the commissioners can not deliberate, take a vote, or make a decision to accept or reject a settlement while in executive session.

If commissioners want to make a decision about a settlement, yes or no, they must come out into the "sunshine" of an open meeting.

Sheriff's Salary Suits: A Summary from CTAS (County Technical Assistance Services)

Sheriff's Salary Suits--Excerpts from CTAS Manual (County Technical Assistance Services):

"[T]he Sheriff has sole discretion to request the number of assistants he believes are ‘actually necessary to the proper conducting’ of his office, as well as the salaries he feels are necessary to attract and retain them.” [Cite]...

The petition must be filed by the sheriff within 30 days after the date of final adoption of the budget for the fiscal year...

In the petition, the sheriff must name the county mayor as the party defendant. The county mayor is required to file an answer within five days after service of the petition, either admitting or denying the allegations of the petition or making such answer as the county mayor deems advisable under the circumstances...

The court will develop the facts, and the court may hear proof either for or against the petition. The court may allow or disallow the application, either in whole or in part, and may allow the whole number of deputies or assistants applied for or a less number, and may allow the salaries set out in the application or smaller salaries, all as the facts justify...

Either party dissatisfied with the decree or order of the court in the proceedings set out above has the right of appeal as in other cases. Pending the final disposition of the application to the court, or pending the final determination on appeal, the sheriff may appoint deputies or assistants to serve until the final determination of the case, who shall be paid according to the final judgment of the court. T.C.A. § 8-20-106...

The cost of the suit is paid out of the fees of the sheriff’s office. The sheriff is allowed a credit for the same in settlement with the county trustee. T.C.A. § 8-20-107... 

Pursuant to T.C.A. § 8-20-105, it is the duty of the sheriff to reduce the number of deputies and assistants and the salaries paid them when it can be reasonably done. The court or judge having jurisdiction may, on motion of the county mayor and upon reasonable notice to the sheriff, have a hearing on the motion and may reduce the number of deputies or assistants and the salaries paid any one or more when the public good justifies.


Monday, May 02, 2016

Brittain Decides To Appeal Court's Decision in Sheriff Jarnagin's Salary Suit

Hamblen County Mayor Bill Brittain has decided to appeal the decision entered on April 14, 2016, in Sheriff's Jarnagin's salary suit.

Brittain is appealing the Circuit Court decision to the extent it authorizes Jarnagin to hire additional deputies, with equipment, and awards attorneys' fees to the sheriff.

The appeal was filed April 22, 2016.  

Tomorrow's post will have more on sheriff's salary suits and a link to CTAS (County Technical Assistance Services) information.