Sheriff's Money Request Favored

After Two No's From Council, Makeup For Shortfall To Be Approved

May 12, 1991|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

After twice denying the county sheriff's request for extra money, the County Council is expected tomorrow to approve the $80,000 he needsto balance his 1991 budget.

On two separate occasions last week, the council voted down Sheriff Robert Pepersack's emergency request for $90,000 to cover overspending, prompting fears that the sheriff's office and Circuit Courts would have to shut down in mid-June.

The council and County Auditor Joseph Novotny complained they should have known about the shortfall long before this.

County Executive Robert R. Neall submitted a new bill Wednesday requesting $80,000for the sheriff's office.

A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for tomorrow at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

To satisfy theconcerns of somecouncil members, the bill does not include money toward Undersheriff Patrick Ogle's salary.

Ogle was hired on a contractual basis last fall for $37,000, even though there was a vacant merit system senior deputy position for $29,963.

He now will be paid the lower amount, council members said.

Ogle did not object to thereduction.

"I will do what's required to get a compromise here," he said.

An audit of Ogle's position will be conducted this summer, saidCouncil Chairwoman Virginia P. Clagett, D-West River.

The council wants to know exactly what the undersheriff does, she said.

The new bill also subtracts money to change the sheriff's seal on cars and uniforms and to pay for a business trip Ogle took.

Money to install a Law Enforcement Television Network -- a request which council members said should have been deferred for review in the 1992 budget process -- also was eliminated.

Most of the $80,000 request -- $45,000 -- is needed to cover unbudgeted overtime pay.

The four council members who voted against giving the sheriff extra money last week now say they are ready to approve the $80,000 budget transfer.

The council has been cracking down on last-minute requests for extramoney. Until now, those requests have been routinely granted.

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