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Pelham says he was fair in pay negotiations
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Controversy continues to flare in the wake of a lawsuit filed against the county by four elected officials in county fee offices.The lawsuit seeks to increase the pay of county employees in four departments. The lawsuit has been filed by Trustee Darlene Bryant, Clerk and Master Myra Mara, Circuit Court Clerk Bernie Morris, and County Court Clerk Lesa Scott.The lawsuit comes after several county employees were hired into the Financial Management Department earning $28,500 a year. This created controversy because the county has several longtime office employees who earn around $20,000.The elected officials tried to negotiate pay raises for their employees with County Executive John Pelham, but those negotiations broke down resulting in the lawsuit.Darlene Bryant said, “Mr. Pelham told Register of Deeds Terry Smith a few months ago that he could give all his employees a 5 percent increase and to my knowledge he signed Terry’s letter of agreement giving them 5 percent.”Pelham admitted this took place.“I did offer Terry’s three employees a 5 percent increase in salary because, to the best of my knowledge, they were the three lowest paid, full-time employees in the building,” said Pelham.