September 27, 2023


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Supervisors deny outside legal counsel claim related to sheriff’s supplemental pay | Government and Politics


SIOUX Town – The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday denied a declare for outside legal counsel from Sheriff Chad Sheehan.

The assert was for legal counsel from Klass Regulation Agency totaling $875, with $752.50 of the bill stemming from the sheriff trying to get an attorney’s feeling pertaining to supplemental shell out for proportion deputies.

Chad Sheehan


Board chair Keith Radig separated the assert from the consent agenda for a independent vote. The board voted 4-1 to deny the assert.

In June, Sheehan requested outside the house authorized counsel of Douglas Phillips with Klass Regulation Firm to decide whose authority it is to offer county staff supplemental pay back.

“There is no legal basis in Iowa Code or circumstance law that supplemental pay have to be accredited by the Board of Supervisors,” Sheehan stated of Phillips’ opinion. Assistant County Attorney Joshua Widman asked for a written lawful opinion from Phillips to review.

Widman had previously supplied a memo to the board about supplemental pay, stating supplemental pay back is permissible for extra companies, but reported in his evaluation it would be decided by the Board of Supervisors.

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P.J. Jennings


On June 29, County Legal professional Patrick Jennings sent a categorised lawful opinion to the board stating there is no legislation specially stating who has the final authority, but he thought the authority was with the sheriff. Sheehan mentioned the opinion was based mostly on a further evaluate than Widman’s authorized view.

At the time, Sheehan mentioned he was going ahead with having to pay $49,600 in whole to five sheriff’s deputies out of his approved finances devoid of board acceptance based mostly on the lawful view.

Sheehan said when he commenced his situation, it was established precedent that the sheriff has the authority to get in touch with Phillips in matters connected to the sheriff’s workplace. Sheehan explained he spoke with previous sheriffs Glenn Parrett and Dave Drew as very well as Phillips. Phillips mentioned it was a common exercise for at least 25 to 30 a long time.

Auditor Pat Gill agreed with Sheehan, stating the county has paid for outdoors authorized counsel with Phillips on other matters this kind of as human resources matters without board acceptance.

“The precedent has been that the sheriff – any sitting sheriff – has been in a position to do that with out coming to the board and check with for permission,” Gill claimed.

Radig and Jeremy Taylor said this unique incident did not in good shape with the prior precedent of viewing lawful counsel. Radig claimed in this situation, it seemed it was far more opinion for Sheehan as a sheriff alternatively of for the board’s purview.

Budget Director Dennis Butler stated Radig and Taylor questioned him to view the claims. Butler reported there is Supreme Court conclusion that states the board has to offer prior acceptance for all attorney costs with outside the house counsel.

Board member Matthew Ung requested Sheehan why he did not request advice from County Legal professional Pat Jennings just before looking for outside counsel. Sheehan claimed he did not know at the time that Widman hadn’t spoken with Jennings ahead of offering his memo.

Board member Rocky De Witt stated a lot more often than not, when the board strategies Jennings with an challenge, they are directed to find outdoors authorized counsel.

Sheehan requested if he demands to request board approval each time he wishes to request outside the house legal counsel, for case in point at 2 a.m. if there is a dying in the jail or other emergency condition where he requires legal steering.

“The solution is yes,” Taylor mentioned. Radig reported in an crisis circumstance, he as the chair could deliver acceptance.


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