Board grants raises to 21, mostly in probation offices

April 8, 2013
Washington County President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca - O-R file photo

Twenty-one Washington County court employees will be receiving raises, ending a yearlong standoff between the commissioners and the president judge that threatened to keep nearly a half-million dollars from the county treasury.

County Treasurer Francis King on Monday planned to deposit two checks from a court account, totaling $470,000, funded by fees paid by defendants on probation. The Washington County salary board, composed of the commissioners, county Controller Michael Namie and President Judge Debbie O’Dell Seneca, voted unanimously Thursday to grant salary increases to the employees, most of them probation office supervisors, retroactive to Jan. 1.

In addition to the two checks, which arrived at county offices late Friday afternoon, the county is expecting a $250,000 from this year’s probation fees by Dec. 31 for 2014 budgeting purposes.

Raises for probation office supervisors and other salaried court employees have been a bone of contention between the Washington County commissioners and O’Dell Seneca since last year.

Under the resolution to the dispute reached late last week, the salary of John Moschetta, chief adult probation officer, will be $70,339 per year, up from $69,630; Jon Ridge, his assistant chief, will receive $68,385, up from $66,177; and Randy Jackson, supervisor, will receive $67,083, up from $62,604.

In the juvenile probation department, Chief Officer Daniel Clements will receive a salary and raise identical to Moschetta’s, and Assistant Chief Karen Lebar will receive the same as Ridge.

In the domestic relations department, Director Sharon Francis will receive a raise and salary identical to the chiefs in the probation department. Deputy Director Sue Ellen Sedlitsky, who had been making $59,511 per year, will now be paid $68,355, the same as the probation assistant chiefs.

Lawrence Garner, booking center coordinator, will be paid $43,500 per year, up from $40,977, and Gregory Thomas, community services director, will be receiving $60,348 per year, up from $58,144.

Charles Nicholls, county director of human resources, said his department initiated paperwork for the controller’s office for the retroactive raises, which are expected to be included on paychecks later this month.

The commissioners granted salaried employees 3 percent raises for 2013, but Deputy Controller Joshua Hatfield said Friday that 3 percent will be calculated on salaries as they stood at the at the beginning of the year, not the raises granted Thursday by the salary board.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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