The Pinal County Board of Supervisors has possibly exposed taxpayers to a major lawsuit over how the County pays overtime to its Deputy Sheriffs. In the original article exposing the arbitrary limits and policy manipulations by the County, the following questions were posed:
On what authority can the County deprive a deputy of property rights obtained through honest labor?
On what authority can the County manipulate internal policy to force its Deputies to not only work for “free” (unpaid “comp” time) but also sacrifice their earned vacation time (vested property right) as a result of the County’s manipulation of policy?
Now it comes out that the County, when confronted with a Deputy’s need for overtime money to pay for essentials at home, the County refuses to pay overtime owed until the Deputy can show that he truly needs the money by showing financial statements, bills and other documentation. On what Constitutional authority does the County rely upon for this egregious invasion of privacy?
Pinal County may have legal exposure at this moment. Nothing the County is doing with regard to its overtime policy for Deputies is ethical or legal: it is as politically motivated and as corrupt as it gets.
Members of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office have made formal demands for overtime payment of overtime earned. One employee of the Sheriff’s Office made a request on November 19th. On November 30th, the Pinal County Human Resources Department acknowledged receiving the request.
On December 14th, the Human Resource Director punted the problem down the road, saying he had just sent out a new policy for comments and he will be using the new policy, if approved, for cash payouts. But until it is approved, he will not process cash payments for overtime.
Initially, Ms. Brandi Clark, Human Resources Manager, wrote the employee that the process will take one to two weeks, which puts the request for payment into mid-December, a full four weeks after the request was made. It looks like the County is stalling until January.
Apparently, the Deputy Association’s attorney has already sent the County a “cease and desist” letter regarding the intrusive and invasive process the County established for payment of overtime. It is my understanding the Association’s attorney is ready to take the next step.
In the course of correspondence with Supervisor Rios, he made the following post script on December 22nd:
“PS…We are working on OT pay…Most will more than likely be very satisfied with the solution……..” I hope so, for it is not only a matter of correcting the current process but also repairing past damages.
The Pinal County Citizens for Excellence in Government await the County’s resolution to this harmful and morale destroying issue.