Ohio County deputies released a statement on Monday in response to a press release sent by the Ohio County Commission on Friday, January 27.
The Deputies’ response comes after the Ohio County Commission said in a statement that no employees or deputies lost a pay check. Ohio County employees and deputies filled a lawsuit against the Ohio County Commission on December 5.
The statement from the deputies can be read in full below:
“The recent actions of the Ohio County Commission constitute a threat to public safety in
Ohio County. When met with notice that the Commission was incorrectly paying the deputies,
rather than engage in a discussion to resolve the matters, the Commission retaliated against them. The Commission sent a letter to the Sheriff directing even further reductions in pay and then releases press statements at odd times that distort the facts and the realities of the deputies’ jobs.
The Deputies cannot legally strike, and they cannot legally collectively bargain. The
deputies’ only remedy for pay discrepancies is to file lawsuits. The deputies tried to avoid a lawsuit by waiting for a response to grievances filed in May, 2022 as provided for in the Commission’s employee handbook. But the Commission ignored the deputies’ grievances in violation of its own policies. When the lawsuit became necessary, the Commission retaliated against the deputies with even more pay reductions and threatened loss of pay and benefits.
The Ohio County Commission’s most recent press statement contains personal character
attacks against its own deputies as first responders. What could the Commission possibly hope to accomplish? These actions show the public what has been happening behind the scenes.
One of the Ohio County Commission’s jobs is to ensure public safety through the spending
of public funds. Retention of experienced deputies and recruitment of new qualified ones is the
only way to ensure a fully staffed Sheriff’s Department. The Commission’s treatment of its
Deputies has the Department morale at an all-time low. This combative situation will ensure the
Ohio County Sheriff’s Department will remain below required staffing minimums.”