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Grievance committee sides with Sheriff Rader on pay raise

Recapping one of our top news stories from over the weekend, a salary grievance committee held a hearing Friday morning at the request of Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader. That committee unanimously supported Sheriff Rader’s contention that his salary should be increased by $3,403. We reported back in May that Liberty County commissioners voted themselves a 10 percent pay hike. At the same time, commissioners gave the sheriff only a five percent raise. For the prior two budget cycles, the commissioners and the sheriff received the same compensation, but with the pay increase difference this time, the commissioners were slated to make $3,403 more than the sheriff for the upcoming 2018-19 budget year. Sheriff Rader told the grievance committee that, in 88.19 percent of counties across Texas, the sheriff actually makes more money than commissioners. The pay of the sheriff and commissioners is equal in another 10.63 percent of the counties. Of the 254 counties across Texas, Liberty County is one of only three where the sheriff is slated to make less. The grievance committee included nine members from a former Liberty County grand jury; however, only eight of those who were actually slated to be there showed up. By state statute, if six to eight members of the committee support the grievance, commissioners are required to consider the change. If all nine support it, the change is made without commissioner action. Although all eight members present at Friday morning’s grievance hearing did support Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader’s request for a pay raise and salary equal to Liberty County commissioners, because the ninth person was not present and did not vote, that request must now go before commissioners’ court.


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