Loudon court clerk seeks raises
Hugh G. Willett knoxnews.com
A motion filed by legal counsel for Loudon County Sessions Court Clerk Lisa Niles this week asks Chancellor Frank Williams for a conference to discuss raises for deputy clerks working in her department.
Niles filed a lawsuit against County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw more than a year ago after requesting more staffing and increased pay for all clerks in her office. In a ruling several weeks ago, Williams told Niles she could hire four new clerks for her office.
Williams' opinion, delivered after a daylong trial, did not address the request for increased pay for 17 employees. Niles' lawsuit had requested $57,000 in salary increases for those workers.
Following the chancellor's ruling, Bradshaw said he was relieved to learn raises for all other employees were not granted. The new motion came as a surprise, he said.
"We thought it was over," Bradshaw said.
The motion filed this week requests a post-trial conference to provide clarification.
"During the trial of this cause ... petitioner (Niles) submitted proof of her request for additional employees and higher starting salaries within her office. Additionally, petitioner submitted proof in her support of additional pay increases for her current employees," the motion said.
Williams in his ruling authorized retroactive raises of 2 percent for the past two budget cycles for other clerks in the office. The raises were approved by the County Commission as part of a package of raises offered to all county employees.
Joe Ford, attorney for Loudon County, said the request was not so much an appeal of Williams' ruling but a request for clarification because the ruling did not mention the issue of raises.
County Commissioner Van Shaver has been critical of Niles for taking the county to court over the issue. He said he doubts Williams could listen to the entire eight-hour trial and overlook the issue of raises.
"What this means is she didn't get what she wanted, so she's going back to the judge to ask for more," Shaver said.
Neither Niles nor her attorney could be reached for comment.