Russell Refuses to Talk about Deputy Pay in Front of Press

By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (October 21, 2010)—At a candidate forum at the local Fraternal Order of Police Lodge in Great Mills last week, Commissioner President Jack Russell declined to state publicly his position on a matter involving sheriff’s deputy pay compared to the pay of other county employees during last winter’s severe snow storms.

Russell instead told FOP members running the event that he would tell them his position, but only while the press was not present. FOP members directed a reporter from The County Times, who was allowed to attend the forum, to leave for Russell’s statement. The forum was not open to the general public.

In a later interview, Russell declined to comment on his answer to FOP members.

Russell told The County Times on Wednesday: “It was going into a personnel issue and we can’t talk to the press about that.”

The question posed revolved around why deputies who were on duty during the snowstorm received only their normal pay while other county employees were paid overtime for their work during the inclement weather.

“I’ll discuss it with you when the press isn’t here,” Russell said during the forum.

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