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: AARON, DARREL DEON 211 APPLING STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406 35 Chattanooga LICENSE, EXPIRED DRIVER LICENSE DRIVING LEFT OF CENTER LINE FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ATKINSON, JAMAAL NATHANIEL 737 TALLEY RD CHATTANOOGA, 37411 23 Chattanooga DOMESTIC ASSAULT ... (click for more)

Red Bank Citizens Urged To Attend Meeting On Flood Risk Maps

A public meeting will be held on Monday, April 13, from 4-7 p.m. with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at the DRC building, 1250 Market St. “I can’t convey how important it is for the residents of Red Bank to go,” said City Manager Randall Smith. This will be an opportunity for residents and property owners to review the new preliminary flood risk maps, as well as ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)

Double Overtime Thriller: Central Boys Going To State

For all the folks who came to Chattanooga State Tuesday night for the Class AA sectional battle between Livingston Academy and Region 3-AA champ Central, they got their money's worth and more. And they even got some free basketball to boot. Needing a couple of overtimes, the Purple Pounders will be heading to Murfreesboro and MTSU's Murphy Center next week for the TSSAA State ... (click for more)

Blackman Blazes A Trail To State By Bashing Bradley, 55-35

(Story will be updated) MUFREESBORO, Tenn. – The Class AAA state champions are still alive and well. Blackman raced past outmanned Bradley Central, 55-35, Tuesday night in a Class AAA sectional victory that blazed a path right to the boys state tournament at nearby Middle Tennessee State University starting on March 11. The Blaze (24-5) will be making their fourth ... (click for more)