Sheriff's proposed COLA more than Arundel delegation meant 'Endless' provision cut back to 4 years

April 01, 1997

The Anne Arundel County state legislative delegation wants to be generous to Sheriff George Johnson -- but not that generous.

The delegation is pushing a bill to get Johnson a two-step salary boost to $55,000 by 1999, and to ensure that his salary keeps up with inflation after that, the lawmakers decided he should get an automatic 2.8 percent pay increase every year thereafter.

But Dan K. Morhaim, a Baltimore County delegate, pointed out to the county's House and Senate representatives yesterday that the wording of their bill for Johnson allowed for an endless cost-of-living increase. Perhaps, he suggested, that was not exactly what his Anne Arundel County colleagues had in mind.

Indeed, they admitted, and they agreed quickly to amend their bill to allow Johnson the automatic COLA for four years after 1999.

Johnson, who was elected in 1994 and earns about $48,700, said he made a presentation before the county's lawmakers to note that he'll be supervising 25 new deputies soon and handling the serving of civil papers for landlord tenant cases which private "constables" used to handle.

In all, Johnson will be supervising 82 full-time deputies and civilian staffers. He said his department is about the same size as other major county sheriff's offices, but he earns less than fellow sheriffs.

Baltimore County is raising its sheriff's pay to $70,000 this year, he said. Baltimore City is going to go up to $70,000 by the end of the year 2001, and the Prince George's sheriff gets $80,000.

Pub Date: 4/01/97

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