Commission approves change in probate judge#039;s pay

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Changes made ‘according to the law'

By Regina Grayson

The Crenshaw County Commission voted Monday at its regular meeting to rescind its Dec. 11 decision to reduce Crenshaw County Probate Judge Jim Perdue's salary from $116,522 to $60,375 because the amount was not set &#8220according to the law.”

In the Nov. elections, 81 percent of those who voted approved the passing of Proposed Local Amendment One, which was to reduce the county's probate judge's pay.

County attorney John Nichols addressed the commission about the issue.

&#8220This is not to put the heat on you, but this is about what is according to the law,” Nichols said.

According to the Association of County Commissions of Alabama, cost-of-living raises are granted to the position of probate judge, and an &#8220increase is not dependent on the office-holder's years of service or other factors.”

Also, the cost-of-living raises that had been granted by the county commission since 2000 should have been applied to the probate judge's salary. This amount in 2000 was set at $60,375, according to the Omnibus Pay Bill. In 2002, a three-percent cost-of-living raise was to be given, with a five-percent cost-of-living raise to be given in 2003, 2005, and 2006. This brings the new salary total to $71,988.36.

Nichols said that Perdue would not get a raise that the other elected officials in the county did not get.

&#8220Somebody else told us what we thought was right, until we got further information,” Commission Chairman Ronnie Hudson said.

Commissioner Ed Beasley made the motion to rescind the commission's action taken on Dec. 11 on the probate judge's salary and to accept the Omnibus Pay Bill amount as described by law. The motion was passed unanimously.

Perdue was not present during Monday's commission meeting, nor was he present at the Dec. 11 meeting.

&#8220I didn't want people to perceive that I was trying to negotiate my salary,” Perdue said. &#8220The commission did according to the law, and I want to compliment them for that.”

Perdue said that he was ready to continue his work as Crenshaw County's probate judge.

&#8220I love my job,” he said. &#8220I couldn't be happier to be probate judge and to serve the people of Crenshaw County.”

Perdue will be officially sworn in this Friday, Jan. 12, at the Crenshaw County Courthouse at 2 p.m. The Honorable Sue Bell Cobb, Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, will administer the oath of office.