Starke Commissioners Table Holiday Pay Discussion

The Starke County Commissioners this week tabled a discussion regarding holiday pay for a former sheriff’s department employee. Ron Lawson had been an employee of the sheriff’s department for many years as a detective, and he was also a patrolman for some time, and he told the commissioners that he has not received holiday pay that he feels he is entitled to.

Lawson claims that Starke County Sheriff Oscar Cowen is under the impression that Lawson had already received his holiday pay for the days in question, but Lawson said he has not been paid and he’s been seeking this reimbursement for two years. The commissioners commended Lawson his years of service to the county, but Commissioner Kathy Norem said she would feel more comfortable making a decision regarding the matter after speaking with Cowen.

Lawson did not work on the holidays for which he is requesting reimbursement, but said that when he was acting as a sheriff’s department employee with a four-day off-and-on schedule, he is entitled to the holiday pay regardless of whether he was on duty at the time or not. The confusion stems from the lack of a comprehensive handbook for the sheriff’s department addressing this type of issue.

The commissioners approved a motion to table the discussion until the next meeting, when they will ideally meet with Cowen and Lawson to get the matter straightened out.