Clay County leaders slash 2 employees’ salaries one week after big raise for 3 others

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. -- Nearly a week after three Clay County administrators got huge pay increases, the county commission voted to slash someone else's salary.

At Monday's Clay County Commission meeting, commissioners voted 2-1 to cut the salaries of the two employees left in the county clerk's office by almost a quarter.

Commissioner Luann Ridgeway said County Clerk Megan Thompson knew what was in her budget and that these slashes shouldn't come as a surprise.

"With simple arithmetic you can see the funds that are budgeted for your office in salaries and commodities, office supplies, everything that it takes to run an office," Ridgeway said.

She also claims Thompson didn't do her job well.

"When I made the budget cuts, it was largely performance-based. In fact, it was all performance-based," Ridgeway said.

But Thompson disputed that claim.

"That's not true. That's not true. It's inaccurate," she said. "And I don't know what claims or falsities these are coming from, but when I was still custodian of records, we did a great job. We did a great job on my staff, did terrific work. I'm proud of the work we did."

Earlier this month, three assistant county administrators were given significant pay raises, totaling more than $75,000.

FOX4's Megan Dillard asked Ridgeway how the commission justified a drastic increase for those three employees at the same time they're cutting salaries in another office.

"Well, actually those were two separate items," Ridgeway said. "That was a very recent action. Back in December of 2017 is when the clerk's budget was reduced because, in February of 2017, her responsibilities were significantly reduced."

Thompson also disputed those claims.

"When we went down half-staff, like my chief deputy said, where did all those duties go? They didn't just disappear. They didn't take them over. They absorbed back into the office. My staff took them over and like they've said, they've never had an increase in pay," she said.

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