Sheriff pay dispute continues as council puts off action

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matt Myers salary and pension dispute with the County Council will continue, as council members wait to hear from the sheriff’s personal attorney.

At this week’s special council meeting, there was no resolution to the long running disagreement over how much the sheriff should be paid and how. In May, the sheriff’s department attorney Jeff Beck told the council that the sheriff had never signed a contract setting his salary last year. Instead, he took the state minimum which is 80 percent of the salary of the county prosecutor. But Myers also opted to supplement that revenue with a percentage of the collected tax warrants in the county. That supplemental money could take Myers up in pay to equal the county prosecutor, or about $159,000.

Council members have expressed frustration that Myers is earning more than he would have under a contract with the county. But Myers has been frustrated that the council will not agree to change a retirement rule that keeps him from receiving pension benefits that he has paid into. Beck said that without that change, Myers appears to have opted to receive higher pay than he would under the contract to make up for the lost pension.

However, Beck has pointed out that he represents the sheriff’s department and not the sheriff personally. Council members this week opted not to act on the sheriff’s contract, instead waiting until they hear from his personal attorney.

Myers did not appear before the council for the discussion.