Judge Says Clark County Will Have to Pay Sheriff’s Bills

by Devin Katayama on August 18, 2011

A Clark County, Indiana judge has mandated the county find a way to pay the bills of the Sheriff’s Department. The price is around $1.6 million dollars.

Judge Dan Moore ruled that the commissioners, council and sheriff will have a mediation process to figure out how to make the payment. Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden announced earlier this month he was making cuts to his budget. This was in response to the council requesting departments find a way to stay within budgets by years-end. But even after the cuts, the council said that wasn’t enough.

Certain departments, like the courts, can mandate their budgets be paid, said Council President Kevin Vissing. The county needs the courts. And now the courts have ruled that the county needs the sheriff’s department.

“We really cannot operate without the police and the county jail so it’s something we really have to do,” he said.

Vissing said the mediation process will be like a divorce.

“They’ll go back and fourth from room to room trying to come up with a deal, what’s fair to the taxpayer and what it’s going to take to operate the jail and the police department,” he said.

Vissing said he expects to schedule the mediation within the next month. He said he is unaware of any other department asking that its budget be mandated. The county sheriff has already made cuts this year in response to the council’s request. Clark County has been operating with a $1.2 million dollar deficit. That amount is expected to rise by the end of the year.

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