Pulaski County Council Approves Budget Transfer to Help Cover Circuit Court Overtime Costs

Overtime costs continue to add up for Pulaski Circuit Court. The Pulaski County Council voted Monday to transfer $5,000 into the court’s overtime budget from the law books line item, at the request of Judge Michael Shurn. “Last week, a two-day jury trial morphed into a four-day one,” he explained. “And I was working 16-hour days, and my staff was real close to that.”

Circuit Court has been racking up overtime costs for the past several months. Much of that stemmed from an influx of several hundred cases that can’t be heard in Superior Court, since Judge Crystal Brucker Kocher worked on them when she was chief deputy prosecutor. Judge Shurn told council members last month that he’d already used half of his overtime budget for 2018.

During Monday’s meeting, council members also approved more than $167,000 in additional approriations. Council President Jay Sullivan explained that most of that is for building and structure repair at the courthouse.

Several other additional approriations that were requested back in February won’t be able to be approved until April. Those include $145,000 to replace a faulty door control system at the Pulaski County Justice Center and $40,000 for Superior Court pauper council, as well as permission to spend Community Crossings grant funds on upcoming bridge and paving projects. Auditor Laura Wheeler explained they didn’t get advertised in time to be considered this week.

In other business, the Pulaski County Council reappointed Margaret Manikowski to the Monterey-Tippecanoe Township Public Library Board.