By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – Civil service for Alcorn County Sheriff’s Office employees is off the table for this year’s legislative session.
A request from Sheriff Charles Rinehart to the Board of Supervisors to support a bill that would put the sheriff’s office under civil service received resistance from several supervisors. The motion from District 4 Supervisor Gary Ross to approve the sheriff’s request died for lack of a second.
“I think it’s unionizing county workers,” District 3 Supervisor Tim Mitchell said. “The state is trying to get out from under (civil service) now. This is a right-to- work state.”
Ross, however, said he sees the issue in a different light and wouldn’t want to “throw away the training” investment the county has made, as well as certifications for some categories of employees like investigators, with certification for one employee at about $3,000.
District 2 Supervisor Dal Nelms said sheriff’s office employees shouldn’t be afforded protections greater than other county employees.
“I’m requesting this for the sheriff’s office, but why would you object to county employees being protected?” Rinehart said. “I think it’s what’s right.”
Rinehart said at the January meeting that although asking the Legislature to take up such a bill does not require support by the supervisors, he would not send the request to the Legislature without the county board’s support.