Middletown reclassifying several employees as part of restructure

Dec 04, 2017
Middletown will be restructuring its law and police departments in 2018. ED RICHTER/STAFF

The new year will be one of transition for some city of Middletown departments.

Starting Jan. 1, there will not be any police lieutenants and assistant law directors as those jobs are being reclassified as part of restructuring of the police and law departments.

Middletown City Council is set to approve the new classifications and salaries at its meeting Tuesday.

In the police department, all four lieutenants, Leanne Hood, Scott Reeve, David Birk and Andy Warrick, will become deputy police chiefs.

Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said the main reason for the change is due to conflict of interest as the lieutenants are currently part of the collective bargaining union represented by the Fraternal Order of Police.

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Muterspaw said when there is a disciplinary process and they have to investigate an officer on a complaint, they are basically investigating a fellow union member.

“It makes it an awkward process where there is a conflict of interest,” he said. “We have had situations where this caused problems.”

The change in the classification to deputy chief required a change in the contract of who is represented by the union. Muterspaw said the lieutenant’s position is an administrative position so it simplifies that process.

He said the four lieutenants agreed to the classification change.

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In addition, Muterspaw said the classification change also gives the city manager down the road the ability to select a chief from four candidates as opposed to one or two.

Muterspaw said the change will also save the city between $20,000 and $25,000 a year in overtime costs as the new deputy chiefs will be exempt employees and not eligible for overtime.

All four deputy chiefs will be paid the same amount at the top step — $98,448 a year. The current base pay for a lieutenant was $88,496, according to city officials.

Muterspaw and City Manager Doug Adkins said the assistant police chief position will not be filled as a result of the restructuring.

With the upcoming retirement of longtime Law Director Les Landen, the law department will now have general counsels who will handle different legal functions within the city, Adkins said.

With the change, also effective Jan. 1, the three assistant law directors, Ashley Bretland, Susan Cohen and Sara Fox, will become general counsels.

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Unlike the new deputy police chiefs, the new general counsels will be in different pay steps in their new pay range.

Fox’s new salary will be $71,381, up from $58,237; Cohen’s new salary will be $74,736, up from $63,839; and Bretland’s new salary will be $81,956, up from $69,981.