Public listening to set to overview county lawyer’s wage | St. Lawrence County

CANTON – The St. Lawrence County’s Legislature Finance Committee passed a motion Monday night setting a date for a public hearing to review the salary of District Attorney Stephen D. Button.

According to the resolution, a proposed local law will fix the district attorney’s salary. However, the law requires that any adoption of local laws be preceded by a public hearing on the matter.

The reason for the salary review is, according to the decision, that the district attorney “has been entrusted with the assumption of additional tasks for the legal department of the Ministry of Social Affairs and has not been released from any other tasks”. As a result, the application states that “a salary increase is appropriate to recognize the additional work involved and should apply retrospectively to May 3, 2021”.

“Should there be a reduction in responsibility in the future,” says the application, “the salary would be checked again for an appropriate level of remuneration.”

The public hearing on the proposed Local Law C will be held in the legislative chambers from October 4th at 5:50 p.m.

The higher salary required by local law is $ 158,000. Mr. Button currently earns $ 125,759.92, according to the St. Lawrence County Government Human Resources Department.

Lawmaker William J. Sheridan, R-Hammond, who co-sponsored the motion, said the new annual salary was an average salary for district attorneys in other counties, including Erie, Orange, Duchess, Schenectady, and Ontario.

“That’s a fair wage for his workload and also for the county’s taxpayers,” he said.

Legislator Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, agreed.

“I think it’s a lot more than just the workload,” he said. “It is also his knowledge of the law and his ability to give this body the best possible legal advice we can hope for.”

Although Mr Lightfoot voted in favor of the motion, he said the new salary was “a low value”.

“The other attorneys in the county are asking for $ 200 plus an hour. Do the math and see what he could earn in a private practice, ”he said.

“I don’t want to see him in a private practice. I want him to represent St. Lawrence County, ”concluded Mr. Lightfoot.

Lawmaker Anthony J. Arquiett, D-Helena, said, “As for the county government, I have yet to find out where Mr. Button is not an expert in all areas.”

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