AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Minutes before Commissioners voted to pass next year's budget, Sheriff Richard Roundtree rushed into the government building asking them not to vote.
On November 15th, FOX 54 reported that a compromise between the city and the Sheriff's department was met when it came to giving his department raises. The Sheriff asked for more than $2 million and the city, dealing with a tighter than normal budget, agreed to about $1.8 million. But only if the Sheriff would agree to leave about 30-vacant position unfilled for the coming year.
"We can do it for a year. It was only a compromise to the fact that next year going into 2019 that we will get the full amount of raises and compensation for the deputies," says Sheriff Roundtree.
But as Commissioners got ready to approve a final budget, Sheriff Richard Roundtree suddenly showed up in front of the commission asking them to stop the vote. He insisted the actual language in the budget called for the elimination of the 30 positions, instead of placing a hold on them.
"The budget that was proposed was today was to eliminate those positions and legally that cannot be done without my permission and I wanted to let the Commissioners know that was not what I agreed," explains Sheriff Roundtree.
After a brief recess, the Commission adjusted the wording and the budget was passed. The Sheriff will get his $1.8 million for staff raises and hold onto the 30 positions to fill another day.