Settlement reached in 2015 lawsuit filed by Sullivan Co. sheriff against the county

SULLIVAN COUNTY, TN (WJHL) – News Channel 11 learned a settlement has been reached in the lawsuit filed in 2015 by Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson against Sullivan County.

The lawsuit claimed under funding for the sheriff’s office and for the county jail.

According to Washington County, Tenn. court documents, the settlement included a 5 percent pay increase to all sheriff’s office employees.

The pay increase will take effect on July 1, which is the beginning of the 2017-18 budget year.

The same budget year also includes a $150,000 bonus pool for employees.

The county will also foot the bill for Anderson’s legal fees for the lawsuit, which is an estimated $56,000.

The sheriff’s office will also get money for salaries, benefits, training and equipment for 18 additional employees — four patrol deputies, two criminal investigators, three process servers or bailiffs, eight detention officers and one cook.

Anderson agreed not to file a separate suit for funding for the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.

Regarding the settlement, Anderson said he’s pleased with the outcome.

Budget Committee Member and Commissioner, Mark Vance said he estimates the county’s cost on the settlement is around $2 million and he doesn’t know yet where commissioners will get that money to put in the 2017-2018 budget.

“We’re going to have to look and that’s going to be my ultimate goal is to find wherever we can cut and whatever department we can cut across the county to fund this settlement. Either by cuts or we’ll have to put a resolution, a private resolution in to raise the taxes,” Vance said.

The commission will meet again in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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