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Sheriff Virts excluded from executive session as supervisors debate deputy’s contract in Wayne Co.

Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts has written a letter to the Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors — addressing the ongoing contract negotiations for his deputies.

He says that on Tuesday, the supervisors met in executive session with the county negotiator regarding the pending contract. “I was not allowed to the meeting, nor was I consulted,” Virts said in the letter.

“As Sheriff, it is my responsibility and duty to appoint, manage, supervise, train, deploy and discipline the deputy sheriffs. As Sheriff, I am directly responsible for the conduct of every deputy sheriff employed in Wayne County, it is my right to be present and participate in all discussions about contract negotiations for these deputy sheriffs,” he said.

Earlier in the year, Sheriff Virts was in-studio discussing contract negotiations.

“The county negotiator and the Negotiation Committee of Supervisors Miller, Crane and Spickerman have disregarded my concerns of low pay, extended hours and the ability to retain deputy sheriffs,” Virts continued. “I truly feel that to bar me from today’s meeting was a direct ploy by the county negotiator, the Negotiation Committee and you, as the Chief Executive Officer of Wayne County, to undermine my authority as the Sheriff of Wayne County and to the citizens whom I represent and who expect me to professionally fulfill my role to oversee all aspects of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.”

Virts says future attempts to keep him away from these discussions will be viewed as a way to sabotage the contract process and to delay or prevent a contract from being fairly or effectively discussed.

“The deputy sheriffs of Wayne County put their lives on the line for you, for me, and for our citizens every day and in every activity they undertake. I ask that you respect my ability to do my job, to keep the deputy sheriffs safe and to provide them with a labor contract that is fair and equitable using data from the geographical job market we compete in,” Virts concluded.

Click here to read the full-letter.

Reporting in this story by News Director Josh Durso. He hosts a pair of podcasts on Check out Inside the FLX and Sunday Conversation each week on  Email tips and leads to [email protected].