Sheriff seeks more money for '93

May 13, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Sheriff Robert Pepersack, who last week ended one spending controversy with the County Council, began another one yesterday with County Executive Robert R. Neall.

The Republican sheriff presented his own $2 million budget for fiscal 1993 to the County Council yesterday -- $300,000 more than what Neall recommended for the Sheriff's Office.

Pepersack said his plan reinstates the $47,740 position of undersheriff, as well as two part-time courtroom security employees and a part-time clerk.

His budget also asks for $44,000 more in overtime for sheriff's deputies and for money to allow his deputies to use four $400-a month Ford Tauruses for prisoner transport, rather than the $200-a-month Chevy Cavaliers Neall says will do the job.

Pepersack said the larger cars are a necessity because the deputies are now transporting "some very large prisoners" in the smaller Cavaliers, and that one of them broke down a month ago on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, leading to an unnecessary security risk -- and a hefty towing bill.

Neall's $1.7 million budget for the Sheriff's Office represents a 19 percent increase in spending over the current year.

It includes $48,360 for two clerk typists to help out with office work, reorganizes the command structure so that a senior deputy would serve as chief deputy over security and transfers four contractual court security officers into the county employee merit system.

Neall's budget also transfers to a private security company the responsibilities for District Court security and for private process serving for the Domestic Relations office.

There were no angry words yesterday between Pepersack and the council -- a sharp contrast to the acrimony that marked a session last week, when council members blasted the sheriff for mismanagement before reluctantly approving a $125,000 transfer to his office to keep it running.

Pepersack was not at the session when the transfer was approved.

The sheriff said yesterday that he is not trying to make waves -- just to secure the funding he needs to run his office.

"I think the budget presented by Mr. Neall is 20 percent under funded," Pepersack said. "I think Mr. Neall is doing what he thinks is proper, and I'm looking at it from a different perspective."

For Pepersack's budget to pass, Neall would have to introduce a supplemental budget to the council to cover the money. The county charter allows the council to increase spending over the county executive's recommendation only for education.

Neall's press secretary, Louise Hayman, said the executive had just been informed of the request yesterday and would have to review its contents before deciding on any increase in funding.

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