Sergeants' Jobs Save County $1.8 Million
POSTED: Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 4:20pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 9, 2010 - 5:02pm
EL PASO - After a day of rumors, it's official. News Channel 9 has confirmed that 22 Sergeants in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office are losing their jobs due to county budget cuts.
"I want you to know that we feel very badly about what it is we had to do. We feel very badly about the fact these are 22 people that have families to feed also, but tough decisions have to be made in tough times," Commissioner Dan Haggerty said. .
Haggerty says in a unanimous vote County Commissioners eliminated 22 sergeants positions in the Sheriff's Office to save nearly two million dollars.
Deputy Jesse Tovar, a Spokesman for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, says those positions are Detention Sergeants at the county jail.
Haggerty says the cuts were made because Sheriff Richard Wiles didn't trim his budget by five percent like Commissioners told him to do.
"He was $1.8 million short. We're at the 11th hour here with our budget so I made the motion we eliminate 22 positions, sergeants positions, from the Sheriff's manning table," he said.
When we spoke with Haggerty he hadn't heard from the Sheriff about the cuts, but he said he knew the Sheriff wouldn't be happy.
"I do know that he has the ability to sue us if he feels that we've put him in a position where he cannot get his job done," he said.
Haggerty says the Sheriff has the option to rehire, or reassign the people to other open areas in his office.
"I have total confidence in our Sheriff and I know that he's going to be able to protect us, and will protect us because that is his job. It is his mandate and he will get it done," he said.
Haggerty says because of the cuts your taxes won't be raised.
We have a crew interviewing the Sheriff. We'll be sure to let you know what he says tonight at 10.