Claremore Daily Progress

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October 29, 2013

Commissioners strike agenda items


Rogers County Commissioners met Monday for about an hour, striking Assessor Scott Marsh’s proposed pay increases and the Sheriff Scott Walton’s request for outside legal representation from the agenda.
The board took no action on the items, leaving the door open for future requests.
Marsh sought to increase the pay of four employees due to a combination of office responsibilities from a reduction in staff this year.
He explained to the board the workers were performing more than one job and were entitled to compensation. The board took no action to approve or disapprove the measure, leaving the final decision to Marsh.
Marsh said he will provide the pay increases to his employees and the information was presented to the board as a formality.
In other business, the board took no action on a professional services contract for legal counsel for the Sheriff’s Office.
Walton is seeking the advise of outside legal counsel due to a conflict with the District Attorney’s office involving a pending civil action and the Multi-County Grand Jury investigation.
Several items are pending legal review and the lack of legal counsel is slowing down operations in the Sheriff’s Office, according to Undersheriff Jon Sappington.
The Sheriff’s Office is seeking approval from the board to allow business to resume.
The DA’s office currently has several contracts, totaling approximately $100,000, for outside legal counsel approved by the Attorney General’s Office. Those contracts deal with civil litigation and administrative complaints with the Oklahoma Bar Association filed against several members of the staff.
The Sheriff’s Office has also been working with the Attorney General to secure their outside legal counsel.
However, Walton must receive the commissioner’s approval to complete the process.
The commissioners have been reviewing the insurance requirements to protect the county from liability issues in the future.
Commissioners are responsible for approving purchases made by the Sheriff’s Office. The cost of the Sheriff’s contract has yet to be determined.
The item will be presented again to the board once the insurance requirements have been met, according to Sappington.

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