Both sides in the Chatham County Superior Court clerk salary dispute agree they want to avoid a potential lawsuit.
However, that may be the only thing the two parties agree on as the matter continues to play out behind the scenes.
Dan Massey, who has served as Superior Court clerk since 2005, maintains his position that he has been underpaid. Responding to county commission Chairman Al Scott’s Jan. 14 letter informing him the matter will be put off until budget talks sometime in the next few months, Massey’s attorney inquired about his attorney fees.
“As you are aware, the county has no discretion if a conflict of interest arises between a constitutional office and the commission,” Steve Scheer wrote county attorney Jon Hart in a Jan. 17 letter. “The commission must pay for the constitutional officer’s attorney. The commission has no discretion if a conflict arises.”
Scheer, who also serves as attorney for the city of Pooler, said in his two-page letter that the issue of attorney fees was the sole request he made at the only public discussion on the matter during a commission meeting on Dec. 20.
He also mentioned that Hart had previously stated that he agreed there had been an “underpayment.”
Massey has requested what is in effect an increase to his current $130,522 salary, plus at least $50,000 in back pay dating to 2005. He and his attorney argue the county has not complied with state statutes regarding how his pay is calculated.