WELCH, W.Va. — The McDowell County Commission laid off eight workers this week to pay overtime it owes to sheriff’s deputies.

Commissioners said the layoffs would save the county $150,000 and they’ve said there may have to be more furloughs.

Sheriff Martin West has complained for several months about his budget being short of funds to pay overtime to his deputies. West was giving comp time but eventually halted the practice.

The county commission met in executive session Wednesday and notified the county employees of the layoffs Thursday in their final paychecks.

Among those laid off were assistant county administrator Clif Moore, regional jail coordinator Jerry Stepp, public relations director Cathy Patton and grant coordinator Frances Hale. The commission also furloughed two maintenance workers and two custodians.

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  • rick

    Why does the Sheriff's Dept need so much OT...does not make sense at all. Looks like poor scheduling to me.

  • PhotoBoothe

    Wonder how long it will be before someone here blames Obama - even though McDowell County was falling off the map 25-30 years ago...!

  • Fred

    When do the citizens of West Virginia become able to obtain the same salaries, overtime policies, pensions, and benefits as those being paid to our county and city employees, police, and firemen?

    • stophating

      Fill out an application..... And you can be laid off immediately...

  • WV Worker

    Mr. West blames former sheriff for problems and Commissioners. Wasn't he an elected official too. He should have known about the problem of money. He saw the budget at meetings if he attended that is. One good example is his wife who spend the biggest part of her budget on herself. She made more money than anyone in the same position and program in the State.Check the records. Also 2 deputies hired at higher rate of pay, nothing new anytime an employee is hired by the State of WV they get the higher rate of pay. Why do you think they quit and come back, so they will get the higher rate of pay. I don't understand why the budget got so out of hand. The budget is made year by year. How many deputies do we have by the way? How many cars do we insure, pay maintenance on, put gas in. Do they all get to take them home. Usually people on call get to use the cars on weekends and holidays. Are all the deputies on call every weekend and holidays? Why don't they work like the State Police, they have schedules to go by. Another question, does the Board of Education pay for the Deputies to sit and the schools all day. Who pays this salary? Do they rotate or are they the same ones all the time, if so then the Board should pay their salary not the Sheriff department. How many at the Courthouse can retire and won't? That would save money. Then like the State don't replace them. Another question, did the Sheriff get a raise this year although Charleston plainly stated only if the County could AFFORD IT. Do elected officials get paid even if they don't attend meetings. If you work at McDonald's , Wendy's or other stores,if you don't work you don't get paid, Let's put that RULE in place. How much would that save. If students can be bused to other areas for school, why not have one or two voting place for voters in each district. How much would that save on people working the polls? There are simple and easy things that can be done to save money IF THEY WANTED TOO. Maybe the County Elected officials wants to get on the list of helplessness so we can have another program that puts thousands of dollars in like Reconnect McDowell County for the schools. (Don't worry I think that is a great program, but WORRYS what happens when the money runs out ) And then again they may want to take over that program too so they can just take the money and use it for their needs. Why don't the Commissioners, County Clerk and EVERY ELECTED OFFICIALS FOR MCDOWELL take one of these new deputy cars to Charleston and don't ask but DEMAND our B &O tax money we have pay for years on years from out coal our families have mined, that they sent up to the Northern, Middle and Eastern part of the State for THEIR improvements and get it back. Think of how much we would have .

  • DWL

    Let's see if the fired employees develop a case of flapping tongue as repayment for their departure. They might be able to furlough some elected crooks there. I'm trying to figure out the reason for all the low level crime in McDowell County. Everyone that had anything moved out. Last election, only the dead voted, and only (d)'s were elected, including the habitual drunk delegate Moore.

  • David Kennedy

    While this happened in McDowell County, it's an indicator of severe money problems ahead for the entire state.
    As the mines close and coal severance money shrinks to nothing, country governments and school systems will be forced to downsize and close.
    We might laugh and shrug a little because this was in the 'corrupt south'...but the facts of it will come to almost every county in the state in the coming months.

    • Aaron

      How many small towns are there in WV paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in salaries to people for duplicated services? Does a county with less than 20,000 citizens that has 10 cities, each with their own staff and many with police departments, really need the duplicate services?

      In my humble opinion, citizens pay far too much in taxes to cities, counties, and the state that is wasted. Eliminate the duplicate services and save tax payers money.

    • Benthere

      Agree. At some point the denial of the end of coal will become the cold realty for West Virginia. The elected officials have no answer for what the post coal state state of West Virginia will become. I think the thought scares the hell out of them. Will we become the first state to go bankrupt? No one thought that would happen to Detroit. If an area like Detroit can fall to ruin then WV can't be far behind.

  • tom morsi

    i know of two of these people had their jobs because they were political favors from the county commission president gordon lambert. oone of these people is a two time dui delegate cliff moore, and cathy patton who was making a substaantial salary taking pictures and writing stories for the welch daily news.

  • reality check

    good thing the economy is booming down in the Free State.