Debate Grows Over County Executive Budish's Compensation Policies

Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish’s administration is defending payments to salaried employees for hours worked beyond 40-a-week. 

County council wants to repeal the section of the county’s human resources manual the county executive used to justify about $1.7 million in additional salary payments over three years.

At Tuesday’s human resources committee meeting, Ed Morales, a lawyer representing the Budish administration, argued that the county charter gives the executive control over compensation, including authorizing hours worked beyond 40-a-week.

“There is some opinion that if something is not explicitly stated in the manual or explicitly stated in another ordinance that it is illegal and I strongly disagree with that assertion," said Morales.

So councilmember Michael Gallagher responded with a question:

“Where’s our authority? Is it the budget? Is that the black line?”

It wasn’t a rhetorical question. Other councilmembers were struggling with the same issue.

They have control of the overtime budget, or if a department wants to spend more than council approved, but neither of those circumstances apply here.

Councilmembers asked the administration to come back in a week with its own proposal.

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