Article Published June 23, 2011
Spartanburg County Council OKs ordinance transferring jail power to sheriffBy Jenny Arnold
The funding has already been approved, and Spartanburg County Council has approved a housekeeping ordinance to transfer power over the jail to Sheriff Chuck Wright.
The council met for a special meeting Wednesday to approve first reading of an ordinance to repeal an old ordinance that took the jail from under the sheriff's power. The new ordinance states that "the Spartanburg County Sheriff shall have custody of the Spartanburg County Jail."
County Council approved a budget Monday night that allows Wright to make additional hires. It also boosts salaries for Wright and his command staff.
Even with the additional spending, the move is projected to save the county more than $1.3 million after council cuts $2.6 million in budgeted jail employee overtime costs before giving the budget unanimous final approval.
The switch in jail command follows years of council grappling with jail overtime costs far exceeding budgeted amounts.
Wright has said he would like current jail director Larry Powers, who has been over the jail for 29 years, to stay on in some capacity.
Wright's salary will jump by $50,000 to $155,530 when he takes charge of the jail July 1.
County Council will hold another special meeting at 3:15 p.m. Friday to vote on a second reading of the ordinance