Pima County Sheriff suspends efforts to fix pay plan

TUCSON, Ariz. - An update on the dispute over the Pima County Sheriff's new pay plan. 

The largest union group says Mark Napier gave leaders an ultimatum to unanimously support his compensation reform -- or he'll abandon all his efforts to fix the pay problems.  

The sheriff emailed staff at 3 a.m. that he's suspending his efforts.

The question now is -- what's next?

The largest union is moving forward to fix the pay problems by working with the Law Enforcement Merit System Council -- or LEMSC.

The five LEMSC members discovered through the largest union that the commission is in charge of determining pay classifications of sheriff's deputies and recommending pay for those jobs -- not the sheriff.

The attorney representing the largest union, Steve Portell, said the system needed to change.

"Of cronyism. Of people who earn their positions through something other than direct merit. It was who you knew. Those days are over. We, Pima County citizens and these associations, are not going to allow business as usual to proceed," he said.

Now LEMSC is tasked with figuring out the best system, but the sheriff had not provided them with information.

Until now, one of the chief's showed up to answer questions.

LEMSC Chair Georgia Brousseau, told KGUN9," We were originally told there was no classification system. There was no compensation plan, and now we're learning there are things that they do. So we need some paper to validate what the current circumstances are."

Brousseau says this process will likely take months.

KGUN9 asked the sheriff for an on-camera interview on his decision, but he declined.

In Napier's email, he states "it's very disappointing that we have reached this juncture. We finally had an indication of support for a compensation strategy from the County Administrator, which was a positive step in the right direction." Napier says he's not abandoning his effort to fix the program and hopes to work together with all the stakeholders in the future.

We'll keep you updated.


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