The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 20, 2012

County attorney to challenge assistants' pay in court

County Board approves labor contract, triggering county attorney's appeal

By Dan Linehan
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO — The Blue Earth County Board approved a labor contract with its six assistant attorneys on Tuesday morning, leading County Attorney Ross Arneson to say he'll challenge that decision in court later today.

Anticipating that challenge, the County Board also voted to hire an outside law firm to represent them in the case.

Arneson argues the pay for his six assistants is too low. They earn a maximum of about $74,000 a year, which is about 75 percent of the pay of assistant state public defenders.
An arbitrator had previously sided with the county on the wage issue. Arneson's upcoming legal challenge is essentially a second chance for the assistant attorneys to make the case that they deserve a 30 percent raise.

To view a copy of the arbitrator's decision, click here:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B5haLHh6nrq-N0dXNjJlc2piSEk