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Population drop causes sheriff’s pay to reduce

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Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace (File photo by David Day)

[Editor’s note: an update to this story can be found here.]

At Monday’s Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting, Sheriff Martin Pace revealed that he had taken it upon himself to arrange an adjustment to his salary – reducing his pay thousands of dollars.

“As you all know, sheriff’s salaries are set by the state legislature based on population,” Pace began. “After the census in 2020, no one contacted me with any information on the updated population of Warren County. The state or the Census Bureau, no one sent me anything, so I started to do my own research.”

Sheriff Pace looked into it and found that, to the best of his knowledge, the current population of Warren County is 44, 722.

“That’s 278 people below the threshold to be paid in tier two,” Pace said.  “So I requested that the payroll department immediately reduce my salary to tier three.”

According to MS Code § 25-3-25 (2019), that equates a $5,000 reduction in the sheriff’s annual salary.

Sheriff Pace went on to say that he wants to pay back to the county any and all overpayments he has received. Board Attorney Blake Teller is in the process of determining exactly when the salary adjustment is supposed to have taken place following the census.

Once they are able to determine how long the sheriff received a higher salary than allowed by the statute, Pace will remit the proper amount back to Warren County.

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Vicksburg Daily News