WARTBURG (WATE) – The sheriff of Morgan County has filed a lawsuit against the county mayor in an effort to obtain what he says is additional necessary funding. The mayor says the county cannot afford the amount of additional funding he is asking for.
Sheriff Glen Freytag says the additional funds, which total $211,671, are needed for deputies, assistants, equipment and other necessities.
In the suit against Mayor Don Edwards, Freytag says the sheriff’s department operates under two separate budgets and is composed of the sheriff, a chief deputy, eight road deputies, two investigators, three narcotics officers, four school resource officers, one part time officer, one officer who splits duties as a road officer and investigator, 26 correction officers and two administrative staff.
Web Extra: Read the full lawsuit [PDF]
Freytag says he is only able to provide two road deputies per 12 hours shift. He also says he has not been able to properly operate his office because of a lack of funding. He says the Morgan County Commission failed to properly fund the department for for the past several years, placing the sheriff and the county in a difficult position.
The sheriff is asking for enough funding to hire six additional road deputies, along with the extra equipment and other necessities they would need.
In a response, Mayor Edwards says there are actually three budgets: the jail budget, the sheriff’s budget and the drug fund budget. He also disputes Freytags claims about the number of miles of public roads and the number of square miles in the county. He says the actual number of square miles is correct, but more than 20 percent are tax exempt.
Web Extra: Read the full response [PDF]
He also says the municipalities of Sunbright, Wartburg and Oakdale have their own law enforcement, decreasing the sheriff’s responsibilities.
Edwards says in his figures, Freytag failed to account for insurance costs per employee, which would be an additional $84,000. He says this is more than the county can afford and that the county covers around 80 percent of the health insurance cost, which Edwards says is more than any other adjoining county.