Commissioner: Deputies leaving Richmond County for more than money

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**A clarification to a report airing earlier this week on News 12:


We reported the number of Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputies leaving since 2011, as 89 deputies. News 12 received its information from the county's Human Resources Department.

The HR Director now says 89 is the number of employees classified as "deputies." The Sheriff says jailers are not represented in the HR Department's figure. He says since 2011, 284 certified deputies and sworn officers have left. News 12 is working to verify those numbers.

News 12 at six o'clock/ Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The Richmond County Sheriff says he's losing deputies in record numbers.

News 12 started crunching the numbers and they didn't really add up.

The Sheriff tells commissioners it's all because other counties pay better. However one Augusta Commissioner say deputies are leaving for more than just low pay. Willie Jackson doesn't want to pay higher taxes to give deputies a raise.

"I think they get enough already," property owner Willie Jackson said.

Sheriff Roundtree doesn't.

He said 225 deputies have left in the last three years. Roundtree says some of them have gone to surrounding counties for better pay.

"Is it a sure thing that many deputies are leaving? Do you really have a count for that or is this something just being said," asked Jackson.

We asked the city's Human Resources Department that question. According to their records, from 2011 to 2014 only 89 deputies have left Richmond County.

Sixty resigned, 12 were fired, 15 retired and 2 are listed as other.

In the past year, the HR department began optional exit interviews on all outgoing employees. They say their response is small. Some commissioners say it's more than just pay.

"It's been several other things, It could be from how day to day operations are ran . It's been talks of no opportunity there to grow," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.

Commissioner Corey Johnson says a recent tax increase is not enough and he's not in favor of taxing businesses more.

"The Sheriff wants to raise the salary for anyone under $35,000 by $3,000. Any deputies making between $35,000 to $39,00 could get a $2,000 raise. All deputies making $40,000 to $49,000 might get a $1,500 raise. All deputies making $50 to $60,000 will get a $1,000.

In the Sheriff's plan, no one making more than $60,000 would get an increase. Leaders with the pen that writes the check said that's easier said than done.

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