Richmond County Sheriff's Office turning big budget surplus into big bonuses for employees
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AUGUSTA, Ga. () – It will be a happier holiday for Sheriff’s Office employees, but some are not happy about it.

“It’s not fair it’s not fair to the taxpayers and we have to be a steward of the taxpayers’ dollars. And this is not being a good steward of it,” said Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle.

Due to the large number of vacancies at the Sheriff’s office this year, its budget is ending with a big surplus. So, Sheriff Richard Roundtree is turning that surplus into big bonuses for employees.

“We received the request from our Sheriff Richard Roundtree to pay his staff $5,000 each for 2023 retention bonuses and this will be paid on his Dec. 15 paychecks. It’s going to cost about $2.8 million,” said Interim City Administrator Takiyah Douse.

This will not go before commissioners because they already approved the money for 2023. But they approved the salaries, not these $5,000 bonuses.

“These are dollars that are within the Sheriff’s budget and did not come under my authorization to either approve or deny,” said Douse.

Commissioner Guilfoyle says there are better uses for the surplus funds, like the maintenance issues at the Webster Detention Center.

“2.7 is more than we had two weeks ago to spend on the jail. I’m trying to find funding streams to build a new jail as well as fix the old jail,” said Guilfoyle  

The sheriff’s office did provide bonuses last year to the tune of $3,000.

“It’s disturbing to hear about this, knowing that all the other employees are not being treated the same,” said Guilfoyle.

And commissioners have agreed to increase the Sheriff’s Office budget next year by $1.9 million.

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