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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

05/30/14 BERGEN COUNTY PBA LOCAL 134 AND BERGEN COUNTY SHERIFF MICHAEL SAUDINO VS. KATHLEEN A. DONOVAN, BERGEN COUNTY EXECUTIVE A-1810-12T1


05/30/14 BERGEN COUNTY PBA LOCAL 134 AND BERGEN COUNTY
SHERIFF MICHAEL SAUDINO VS. KATHLEEN A. DONOVAN,
BERGEN COUNTY EXECUTIVE
A-1810-12T1
       We review the interplay between the Optional County Charter Law, N.J.S.A. 40:41A-1 to -149, and N.J.S.A. 40A:9- 117, which deals with the compensation of sheriff's employees.   Specifically, this appeal presents the questions (1) whether the Bergen County Sheriff (Sheriff) has the exclusive statutory authority to negotiate salary payments, increases, and other economic benefits with the employees of the Sheriff's Department, subject to the requirements of N.J.S.A. 40A:9-117; and (2) whether the court, rather than the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), was the appropriate forum to adjudicate this dispute. We answer both questions in the affirmative, and affirm the trial court's judgment.