Tuesday, Jan 16, 2018
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Police & Fire

Mountain of overtime hours puts sheriff's deputy at top of payroll

Employee earned nearly $79,000 for extra shifts

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    Exterior view of the Lucas County jail. Overall compensation for jail employees has edged up 19 percent since 2013, when Sheriff John Tharp was elected. Overtime alone rose to nearly 59 percent of total compensation last year from about 10 percent in 2013, based on figures from the sheriff.

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Do you think your days are long? Trying pulling the hours clocked last year by Eric Grace.

As a sheriff’s office employee who works at the Lucas County jail, he racked up nearly $79,000 in overtime on top of his $49,000 salary in 2016. His total paycheck last year was more than $132,000.

The 280 eight-hour overtime shifts worked by Deputy Grace were the most logged by any of the sheriff office’s nearly 500 unionized employees.

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Sheriff’s office overtime, especially that paid to jail correction officers, is under scrutiny as county officials are looking to reduce spending to offset a projected $10-million revenue loss in state funds next year.

Cost-cutting efforts are occurring at the same time that county commissioners are sharing their vision on the model of a future jail to the union representing correction officers. 

That plan would require using about half the present work force.

Top overtime payments in Lucas County Sheriff's Office: download, view

Overall compensation for jail employees has edged up 19 percent since 2013, when Sheriff John Tharp was elected. Overtime alone rose to nearly 59 percent of total compensation last year from about 10 percent in 2013, based on figures from the sheriff.

Last year, overtime accounted for nearly $5.2 million of the $27.4 million sheriff’s office payroll. That compares with the $233,673 paid in overtime for 2011, when it accounted for 1.22 percent of the $19 million paid to deputies and correction officers.

Why such a dramatic jump over the last five years? It depends whom you ask.

Sheriff Tharp points to services and programs added by the department under his tenure, including the Drug Abuse Response Team to handle the growing opiate and heroin epidemic.

In recent years, corrections officers and deputies have been reassigned to the DART program, new security screening at the jail entrance, and to staff other mandates, and they have not been replaced, increasing the need for overtime, he said.

Patrick Mangold, president of UAW Local 3056, the union that represents deputies, said the escalating overtime can be traced to long gaps in classes to train employees to replace correctional officers who retire, leave, or are promoted.

After the August, 2013, graduation of new correctional officers, the sheriff’s office went 19 months before offering another new class because county officials began planning for a modern jail that would require fewer correctional officers, he said.

“We are short 75 to 80 people because of that 19-month window,” Mr. Mangold said.

Management key

Pete Gerken, president of the county board of commissioners, said he disagrees with Mr. Mangold that beefing up staff is the solution to the overtime problem. Instead, he said, a better job is needed managing the employees working there now.

According to data provided by the commissioners, 297 of the 448 employees on the sheriff’s payroll in December, 2013, were assigned to the jail. 

At the end of 2016, the sheriff’s office had 14 more employees, and 285 were correction officers.

Over the same period, the overall prison population has remained flat or decreased because of a federal court order mandating a 403-inmate ceiling, the commissioner said.

“The amount of manpower has been within 10 employees of each other every year [since 2013]. For them to say to we don’t have the manpower to run the jail doesn’t tell the whole story,” Mr. Gerken said. “The overall personnel for the sheriff to run his operation has remained virtually the same.”

Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, the county administrator, said the number of new employees hired by the sheriff has kept up with attrition through retirements and terminations since 2011.

“They have taken existing staff and reallocated them to other special programs,” Ms. Lloyd-Jenkins said.

Top 10 highest paid

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Deputy Grace’s total earnings of $132,117 made him the 10th-highest paid county employee last year. He was among 17 employees in the sheriff’s office to collect six-figure salaries, surpassing the $100,000 that elected Sheriff Tharp is paid annually.

Mr. Grace, who joined the sheriff’s office in 1994, declined to be interviewed.

Dr. Eugenia Ilo, a physician in the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, was the top wage-earner among the nearly 3,100 county employees. She was paid $166,075 in 2016. Deputy coroners Dr. Cynthia Beisser and Dr. Maneesha Pandey round out the second and third spots at $155,014 and $150,691, respectively.

Mr. Mangold, a deputy in the corrections center since 1997 and president of the deputies’ union, received $65,257 last year in extra pay for overtime, pushing his total earnings to $119,187.

Department cuts

The county commissioners asked every county department head to cut 2 percent in their budgets before March 1 to help offset a projected $2.75 million loss in the sales tax generated from transactions between doctors and Medicaid managed-care organizations. The tax is to be eliminated in October. The loss to the county will be $10 million in 2018 if the sales tax is not replaced with another revenue source.

Sheriff Tharp said the reductions will be achieved by eliminating 12 positions and moving the employees in those jobs to the jail to provide more staff, cutting down on the need for overtime.

The estimated $675,000 in cuts include reducing the counseling staff by eight employees, eliminating one of three employees in the laundry operation, taking two of nine officers who work in the DART program, and placing a road patrol deputy into the jail. Also, the SWAT team will be abolished, saving the department money in training and overtime costs.

A new county jail to replace the aging, inefficient eight-story corrections facility downtown has been on the drawing board since 2014. The project was put on the back burner while county officials worked on criminal justice reforms to reduce the jail population, allowing for the appropriate-sized jail to be built.

Mr. Gerken told UAW Local 3056 officials two weeks ago that the county is considering housing pretrial inmates accused of low-level felonies in the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio in Stryker, Ohio, which accounts for about two-thirds of the jail population.

County officials said for the first time last week that the current jail would be demolished and replaced at the same site with a smaller, 300-bed modern facility that would hold inmates charged with first and second-degree felonies. The facility also would include a 50-inmate booking area.

A new jail, county officials said, would incorporate the direct supervision model of guards having continuous interaction with inmates, a practice that cannot be used now because of the jail’s vertical architecture.

Mr. Gerken said the new jail is on the horizon in the next three to five years, and it would be illogical to hire more employees and then eventually lay them off, he said.

“Anything we do now going forward will be about creating a new county jail that is the right size. Given all we have learned about criminal justice reform, it will be smaller than what we have today,” he said. “We don’t know how many, but we do know there will be less employees.”

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

 

 

 EmployeePositionRegular PayOvertimeTotal Earnings
825
Eric Grace Deputy $49,212.000 $78,779.76 $132,117.50
826
Robert Campbell Correction Officer $48,817.600 $68,555.96 $122,645.53
827
Patrick Mangold Deputy $49,046.400 $65,257.74 $119,187.38
828
Priscilla Fletcher Deputy $49,046.400 $64,846.56 $119,383.58
829
Stephen Przymierski Deputy $49,212.800 $65,301.24 $118,926.51
830
Amy Ulch Deputy $49,046.400 $62,720.93 $116,968.51
831
Valentina Green Correction Officer $49,046.400 $61,441.37 $113,743.18
832
Michael McManus Correction Officer $48,609.600 $60,058.44 $111,777.34
833
Denise Golliday Deputy $49,212.800 $57,400.31 $108,446.43
834
Larry McCoy Deputy $49,212.800 $54,578.22 $109,862.58
835
John Tharp Sheriff $100,064.000   $100,064.00
836
William Young Deputy $49,046.400 $53,927.45 $108,495.65
837
         
838
Eleodoro Martinez Deputy $49,212.800 $52,748.88 $108,111.31
839
Gary Selleck Deputy $49,212.800 $51,592.01 $103,443.49
840
Jason Brown Correction Officer $48,152.000 $49,368.48 $99,000.44
841
Brandon Stuard Deputy $49,046.400 $48,400.06 $102,240.10
842
Lun Siu Chan Deputy $49,046.400 $45,774.94 $97,635.14
843
Patrick Holzemer Deputy $49,212.800 $45,622.24 $98,642.31
844
William Edmondson III Correction Officer $48,838.400 $45,543.11 $98,419.20
845
Robert Hanthorn Booking Officer $49,046.400 $44,750.99 $97,717.15
846
Charles Palko Correction Officer $48,609.600 $43,685.00 $97,287.48
847
Marc Odoms Court Security $49,212.800 $43,391.64 $94,561.20
848
Andrew Gorney Correction Officer $48,152.000 $42,093.17 $90,596.15
849
Oliver Watkins, Jr. Booking Officer $49,046.400 $40,985.52 $93,581.96
850
Glen Keaton Correction Officer $48,152.000 $40,744.28 $92,293.08
851
Gabriel Torres Deputy $49,212.800 $40,588.55 $93,764.43
852
Michael Byrd, Jr. Correction Officer $41,828.800 $39,806.40 $81,224.75
853
Christopher Mulinix Deputy $48,360.000 $39,779.47 $92,636.33
854
Kevin Bailey Correction Officer $48,609.600 $38,768.26 $90,482.02
855
Dionne Waters Deputy $49,212.800 $38,139.48 $92,700.21
856
Elizabeth Edwards Booking Officer $49,212.800 $38,012.45 $90,759.24
857
Danny Huntley Deputy $49,046.400 $37,831.70 $90,394.83
858
Reginald Arrington Correction Officer $48,609.600 $37,507.48 $90,249.80
859
Gloria McCallum Correction Officer $48,838.400 $37,333.80 $90,400.68
860
Stephen Meehan Deputy $49,046.400 $37,261.70 $89,242.89
861
Cathryn Thomas Deputy $49,046.400 $36,862.71 $90,277.07
862
David Carter Investigative Services $69,284.800 $36,755.72 $105,457.31
863
Usevio Torres Deputy $49,046.400 $36,458.61 $89,363.35
864
John Martin Correction Officer $48,838.400 $36,178.90 $89,661.62
865
Joseph Gorney-Siminetti Field Operations $62,982.400 $35,311.44 $106,313.16
866
Rachelle Ruiz Fane Correction Officer $41,828.800 $34,808.42 $77,956.58
867
Donald Mulkey
Deputy (municipal court)
$49,046.400 $34,074.59 $84,332.55
868
Bessie Sanders
Counselor
$50,502.400 $33,968.40 $90,081.48
869
Timothy Ruswinkle Correction Officer $48,609.600 $33,918.12 $87,259.20
870
Sharetta Howell Deputy $49,046.400 $33,915.25 $84,663.88
871
Tammy Johnson
Registered Nurse
$62,795.200 $33,304.32 $104,090.13
872
Michael Hook Correction Officer $41,620.800 $33,209.14 $75,603.69
873
Henry Lewis, Jr.
Recreation Officer
$49,212.800 $33,169.32 $70,419.68
874
Michael Bretzloff
Deputy Field Operations
$50,440.000 $33,070.79 $87,207.61
875
Derek Kozlowski Booking Officer $48,609.600 $32,421.91 $83,261.63
876
Luis Gonzalez Deputy $49,212.800 $31,887.60 $80,072.29
877
Mark Wojciechowski Correction Officer $48,609.600 $30,975.84 $80,895.16
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