MARSHALL COUNTY, AL (WAFF) - Marshall County officials disagree about claims made by the sheriff over jail funding.
Chairman James Hutcheson said funding is not an issue. He said more than half of the county's budget goes to the sheriff's office.
On a day there was a riot at the Marshall County Jail, Sheriff Scott Walls issued a release that said they are asking for money to increase starting pay for jailers, which Walls said has been denied numerous times by Hutcheson.
Hutcheson said pay scales are developed after pay studies are performed every few years, a process, he says, the sheriff has been a part of at least twice.
"The salary is set according to the pay study and I have no authority to change any individuals pay scale nor does the commission," said Hutcheson.
Hutcheson said if the sheriff needs more help in the jail he should just hire them. Hutcheson said of the 28 corrections positions, approximately 10 are still open. Hutcheson said those jobs have been open since last October and are funded, it's just that no one has been hired to fill those slots.
"They send him over applications. He reviews them and he hires who he wants to hire but the positions are funded," said Hutcheson.
Hutcheson said the Commission is responsible for the liability involving the jail and that concerns him.
"Anybody can sue, you know, and you have to defend yourself if somebody files a lawsuit against you whether it's legitimate or not," said Hutcheson.
Hutcheson said they've also gr anted other funding requests made by the sheriff to include outside fencing and remodeling of the jail's kitchen.
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