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The Lake News Online
  • Top Ten stories of 2013: 9 — Pryor vs. commissioners

  • A legal dispute over back pay put elected officials in Morgan County at odds with each other for much of 2013, but the treasurer and county commissioners were able to wind up the year by finally coming to terms on the hotly-contested issue.
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  • A legal dispute over back pay put elected officials in Morgan County at odds with each other for much of 2013, but the treasurer and county commissioners were able to wind up the year by finally coming to terms on the hotly-contested issue. Morgan County Treasurer Louella Pryor accepted a settlement of $58,000 in November after the Morgan County Commission backed off its appeal of a summary judgement in Pryor's favor by Circuit Court Judge Ralph Jaynes. The judgement was issued in October after multiple attempts to negotiate a settlement prior to the lawsuit filed in 2012 as well as during the lawsuit failed. From 2003-2010, Pryor received a salary of $33,300 per year. According to the court ruling, her salary should have been $45,000 a year. Pryor was paid 74 percent of her state-set salary during that time frame while other elected officials received 100 percent. The difference in pay amounted to $93,600 which the judge awarded her along with interest and additional retirement plan contributions. The commission had spent $27,638.70 since 2011 on legal counsel regarding the question over Pryor's salary. The commission approved another $5,000 to appeal the circuit court ruling, but local attorney Michael McDorman, hired just for the appeal, instead reopened negotiations with Pryor and helped bring the issue to rest with the final settlement.

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