State Supreme Court Rules Hamilton County Sheriff Civil Service Board Exceeded Authority On Ordering Sergeant Pay Equalized

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Tennessee Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday that the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Civil Service Board exceeded its statutory authority in ordering Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond to equalize the pay of sergeants in the department.

 

Six sergeants with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department filed a grievance contending that pay disparities within an established pay range among their rank should be eliminated.

When the sheriff refused to end the pay gaps, the sergeants filed an action with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Civil Service Board. The board ordered the sheriff to equalize all sergeants’ pay in the department.

 

Sheriff Hammond appealed the board’s decision to the Chancery Court of Hamilton County, contending the board exceeded its legal authority. The chancery court agreed with the sheriff and declared the board’s ruling null and void. On appeal, the Tennessee Court of Appeals said that the board had exceeded its authority, but directed the sheriff to take the necessary steps to eliminate the disparity in sergeants’ pay.

 

The Tennessee Supreme Court today reversed the Tennessee Court of Appeals and determined that the sheriff did not have to pay all the sergeants the same rate. The Court relied on several statutes, including one that grants the Hamilton County Commission the authority to set the sheriff’s budget. Furthermore, the Supreme Court noted that the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department Civil Service Manual expressly gives the sheriff the power to make individual pay determinations.

 

Accordingly, the Supreme Court held that the civil service board had exceeded its authority under the law by ordering the sheriff to equalize pay when there was no proof that the sheriff violated state law or terms of the Civil Service Manual.

 

“Numerous provisions of the Civil Service Manual support the conclusion that the sheriff may exercise discretion in setting the rate of pay for his employees,” wrote Justice Sharon G. Lee for the Court.

 

Read the Jim Hammond, Sheriff of Hamilton County et al. v. Chris Harvey et al. Opinion, authored by Justice Lee, at TNCourts.gov.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ATKISSON, THOMAS GREEN  3901 KINGS RD CHATTANOOGA, 37416  Age at Arrest: 40 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT BEER, ANTHONY COURTNEY  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37402  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA ... (click for more)

TBI Charges Morgan County Woman With Shooting Her Husband

Special Agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation have arrested a Morgan County woman accused of shooting her husband on Friday . At the request of 9 th District Attorney General Russell Johnson, TBI Special Agents began investigating the incident, which occurred shortly after 5 p.m. at the family’s home on Morgan County Highway in Sunbright. There, authorities ... (click for more)

Could The Marriage Decision Spark A New Independence Day?

I confess that this year I am having a hard time with the idea of celebrating the 4th of July Independence Day. It is not because I am not thankful to God for what was done on that day, what it represents, and the blessings I’ve experienced that flow from it. On the other hand, I want to think that maybe this year’s celebration will mark a period in our history in which a new movement ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Dr. Tydings Is A Winner

One week from tomorrow the most important educator in the future of our community will start work as the new president of Chattanooga State. While I am normally cynical of beard-strokers and foundation-hungry dreamers who have little or no concept of the real world, I am convinced Flora Tydings will become the best thing to happen in our community in years. A grandmother with ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Clinches Southeast Division Title

The Chattanooga Football Club clinched the Southeast Division title Saturday night before a crowd of 4,000 plus fans and celebrated with fireworks after the game.  Chattanooga beat visiting Nashville FC 2-0.   Matt Aldred scored the first goal in the 27th minute and Jack Hopkins scored the second goal in the 85th minute.  Chattanooga will host the conference ... (click for more)

TSWA Announces All-State Soccer Teams

 The Tennessee Sports Writers Association recently announced its all-state high school soccer teams. THE TEAMS        TSWA All State Boys’ Soccer teams Class AAA Nathan Djona, Antioch junior forward Avery Cowan, Brentwood senior midfielder Johnny Heckman, Centennial senior midfielder Nick Zalewski, Sr., Cookeville ... (click for more)