KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte’ and some county finance employees are facing a lawsuit over employee pay.
It’s coming from the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 50, which represents deputies in the county.
The lawsuit claims deputies and sergeants were promised pay raises they aren’t getting.
“I would definitely categorize it as a last resort effort,” said attorney Sean McCauley, who’s representing the union.
This is the first time McCauley has filed a lawsuit like this. It’s a writ for mandamus. The union isn’t suing for damage but is instead asking the court to order Forte’ to complete the administrative work for pay raises.
In September 2022, Jackson County legislators passed an ordinance to increase pay for deputies and sergeants.
“The sheriff just kind of remained silent at first and has really never taken a strong position one way or the other, but has basically done nothing in furtherance in getting these wages implemented,” McCauley said.
County lawmakers passed the same ordinance again in November 2022, but McCauley said this time Forte’ wasn’t required to agree to it. All he had to do was the administrative work.
“The sheriff just has a ministerial act of telling someone to enter the time into the time-keeping system to change the pay rates, and for whatever reason he has not done that,” McCauley said.
Two county employees are included in the lawsuit because they play a role in the deputy’s pay.
“The county is saying we’ve told them to do it, but it’s not being done,” McCauley said.
FOX4 reached out to Forte’, who released the following statement:
“I represent all members. Dedicated civilian members of the sheriff’s office and the detention center will not be ignored and will be included in wage increases. Civilian members are vital to the success of our operation. No one group is superior to any other group. All members will be treated fairly, regardless of employment status.”