SCIOTO — The Scioto County Commissioners are requesting more information from Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini after receiving reports of significant payroll changes for administrative employees.
In a letter addressed to Donini, who will be replaced by David Thoroughman following the election, the Commissioners want to know the reasoning behind his decision, which would see increases of $10 per hour for two employees.
These funds coming from non-general accounts, in this case, the web check fund and concealed carry fund. The Commissioners say there will be no change to the general fund. County Auditor David Green said the Sheriff’s Office makes up approximately 19% of the general fund.
“By using non-general funds to cover these increases, where historically these funds have been used to cover other expenses,” reads the letter obtained by the Portsmouth Daily Times. “It is apparent that you have excessively rewarded two employees and now others could suffer by your directive.”
Green named the beneficiaries of the change, Chief Deputy Todd Miller and Office Manager Karen Coleman, who saw their pay increase from $36.36 to $46.36 and $28.95 to $38.95, respectively.
Thoroughman, who won in a tightly contested April primary, is concerned these pay raises will leave less for the office to pursue his goals of increased community outreach and tackling the opioid epidemic as a public official.
“These funds can be used to bring our K-9 program back and be used for drug investigations which are very much needed in the county,” said Thoroughman, former Shawnee State University Director of Public Safety.
Like the Commissioners, he is waiting on word from Donini as to his reasons for the pay increase. While Thoroughman reached out to the sheriff to hear a reply, his previous communications with Donini focused on piecing together a transition team and securing grant money for the office.
Surprising to Thoroughman with this change is that it comes after sheriff’s office employees already received pay increases with the latest collective bargaining agreement between the Sheriff’s office and its workers.
Approved by the Commissioners in 2018, full-time and part-time, union and non-union workers saw their wages increase by 3% each year between 2018 and 2020. A union employee, for example, experienced their wages from $65,312 in 2018 to $69,056 this year. The recipients of Donini’s payroll changes are not members of the Fraternal Order of Police, meaning they were not subject to these wage increases. Thoroughman verified Wednesday they had received increased pay at the same time.
The timing of Donini’s decision also received questions from Thoroughman. These raises, he said, placing the employees’ wages above and very near to what the Sheriff is paid.
“I don’t know of any business or organization in which the owner gets paid less or equal to other employees,” said Thoroughman.
The Portsmouth Daily Times reached out to Donini, who had no comment on the matter.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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