Morgan County Sheriff Jim Petty promoted Sgt. Mike Nienhuis to a supervisory position earlier this year during a time when the sheriff said there would be no pay raises.
“Originally everyone agreed that there would be no individual that would get a pay raise,” Sheriff Petty said. “My contention was that this was a job description change to a supervisor sergeant, the same position that I had a lieutenant in there before.”
The county commission refused to implement the pay raise for Neinhuis so petty sued. Petty said he had made a similar job description shift with no problem.
“Later on this year I had a detective resign, I made one of the road guys a detective, which was a little higher pay. Nothing was ever said about that. So its the same difference, it’s a different job description.”
Petty said legal precedent said he could set salaries without interference from the commission.
“Well the end result was we dropped the lawsuit because the commissioners agreed with the attorney that I had to the right to set his salary as long as it was in budget.”
The county will also pay Petty’s legal fees since he had to use outside representation in the suit.