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Oct 29, 2010 12:21 AM by Q2 News

12 deputies join Yellowstone County pay dispute lawsuit

There's new information on a lawsuit against Yellowstone County by a Deputy Sheriff - who alleges he and other deputies were not paid for all the hours they worked. Jamie Swecker filed the federal lawsuit in September. Now, 12 other deputies have signed on to the class action suit. Now signed on along wth Swecker are deputies Ken Thompson, Steve Corson, Clay Hackbarth, Valerie Juhl, Ryan Taylor, James Ellis, Patrick Korb, John Smith, Dan Paris, Anthony Watson, Joel Ketch, and Tom Benjamin. According to Swecker's attorney Tim Kelly there are an estimated 44 deputies currently working who may be owed money.

At issue is 15 minutes deputies spent in briefings prior to each shift - that they were required to attend. The suit alleges that for the past eight years, deputies were not paid for that time.
Swecker's attorney Tim Kelly said,"the initial estimates show the cost will be in the high six figures if the claims go to trial".

Kelly says the County could save several hundred thousand dollars by resolving the suit early. He added after a number of months of asking for a sit down to try to work this out, there was some indication Wednesday that the County may be open to negotiations.
Yesterday the County Attorneys office filed its response to the lawsuit.
They deny the allegations and are asking for a jury trial. Also named in the suit are Sheriff Jay Bell and Bell's administrative assistant Mary Matteson.

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