Billings Appeals MSC Police Pay Decision
The city of Billings is appealing a decision by the Montana Supreme Court, who ordered the city government to pay $2.7 million to police officers in back pay, wages and other costs. The city filed the appeal on Monday, claiming there are inconsistencies in how the court determined damages in the case. Officials are asking the Court to instruct Park County District Judge Brenda Gilbert to dismiss the case, or, to at least examine the amount awarded in the case.
The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by retired Billings police officer Ernie Watters. Watters, who claimed that Billings underpaid its officers in wages, overtime and retirement contributions. The city did this by determining longevity pay based on earnings of a first-year officer, rather than on the basis of the salaries of individual officers. The argument later focused on whether the city should have determined longevity based on completed years, or total years of service