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Judge orders back pay for central Missouri treasurer

Sunday, October 6, 2013 | 4:18 p.m. CDT

CAMDENTON — The Morgan County treasurer has been awarded more than $93,000 after a judge found that she had wrongly been paid less than other officials in the central Missouri county for eight years.

The Lake News Online reported that the recent judgment for Treasurer Louella Pryor came in a back-pay lawsuit she filed in April 2012.

Retired Howard County Judge Ralph Jaynes ruled that Pryor was owed eight years of back pay after receiving just 74 percent of the state-mandated maximum salary. During that time, Pryor said, the county's other elected officials received 100 percent of the state-mandated level.

For Pryor, the difference translated to an annual salary of $33,300 instead of $45,000.

The judgment awarded Pryor the difference in pay for those years, with interest. The county commission also was ordered to make contributions to Pryor's retirement plan based on the higher salary.

Jaynes handled the case because Morgan County Circuit judges Stan Moore and Ken Hayden recused themselves.

The salary dispute dates to decisions made years ago.

In 1997, the Morgan County Salary Commission set the pay for each elected official at 100 percent of what was then the state's maximum limit. When Morgan County's assessed property valuation exceeded $300 million in 2001, the county was put into a different category for salaries, and all the officials except the treasurer got a raise in 2002.

When Pryor took office in 2003, a state law allowed county treasurers' salaries to range from $33,300 to $45,000. But the law was changed later that same year, meaning Pryor's pay should have been set at $45,000, the judge said.


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