S. Indiana sheriff to sue council again for funds

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - A southern Indiana sheriff said he will again sue his county’s council after it cut $4.4 million budgeted for law enforcement and jail operations.

Clark County Sheriff Danny Rodden said he’s talking to his attorney about initiating the suit after the County Council, acting Monday night on an order by the Indiana Department for Local Government Finance to cut its general fund by $4.9 million, made up most of the difference with the sheriff’s budget, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1dhynu9 ) reported.

“I’m amazed the state passes a budget like this. It’s unreasonable,” Rodden said.

The state agency issued its order after projections showed the county collecting less in property tax revenue than initially budgeted. Clark County is located across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky.

Rodden estimated he had only enough money to pay his deputies for about a month.

“Our people haven’t had raises in four or five years,” Rodden said.

Rodden successfully sued the county council after it cut his budget by $3.7 million last March. The council appropriated $1.2 million the following month to help him offset part of the deficit and later settled the lawsuit for nearly $3 million, which the council financed with bonds that created an added tax for county taxpayers.

Council Vice President Brian Lenfert said the council will resort to similar methods this year to fund the sheriff's department.

Clark County government also was sued in 2011 by the county’s judges and sheriff over budget cuts. Settlements in those suits totaled more than $4.2 million.

Council members agreed during a budget workshop Friday that cutting one department’s budget was best because it would lead to a single lawsuit rather than multiple suits.

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Information from: The Courier-Journal, http://www.courier-journal.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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