Hard Day's Night

Dallas County commissioners are irritated with Sheriff Lupe Valdez after she submitted her recent overtime expenses for the first five and a half months of the 2006 fiscal year. Nearly 35 jailors, whose salaries are typically less than $40,000 a year, made more than $15,000 in overtime pay from October 1 to March 17. One guard, who works at the West Tower, particularly raked it in. She made $35,000 in overtime pay, almost matching her yearly salary of $38,000. For this period, she took off only three days--one day off for jury duty, one day off for vacation and one for a holiday. A county official e-mailed me her amazing schedule for the vast majority of this six month period: She works the 2:00-10:30 shift and then puts in overtime until 6:30 a.m. Then, as Jackson Browne might say, she wakes up and does it again. Amen. Keep in mind this was her schedule--not for a few days or weeks but for SIX MONTHS. Adding up her base salary with her overtime pay, she's on pace to make nearly $100,000. Either someone's milking the system or the West Tower has one extraordinarily tired guard on staff. On May 16th the commissioners are planning on reviewing the sheriff's overtime expenses. --Matt Pulle

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