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Schmitz to get back pay, Sondrol reinstated

Posted 12/13/16 (Tue)

By Jack Dura
Farmer Staff Writer

Covering a range of items tied to Village Business Institute’s investigation of the McKenzie County Sheriff’s Office and removal proceedings against suspended Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger, McKenzie County commissioners approved a series of employment-related decisions at their Tuesday, Dec. 6, meeting.
Lt. Michael Schmitz, on unpaid administrative leave since Oct. 16, will be paid retroactively and up to a hearing date set for commissioners’ Tuesday, Jan. 3, meeting.
Acting State’s Attorney Todd Schwarz said by phone in the meeting that the county is liable to a wage claim from Schmitz due to the fact that suspended Sheriff Gary Schwartzenberger had Schmitz coming to work up until the sheriff’s interim suspension on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Disciplinary action, including termination, was “intended to be resolved within a fairly short time,” Schwarz said, so retroactively paying the administrative lieutenant is appropriate under labor laws.
Schmitz said Monday, Dec. 12, that county payroll will pay him Friday, Dec. 16. He said last week he’s concerned about receiving a lump sum check due to tax purposes.

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