Councilors to Decide Whether to Appeal Police Pay Ruling
Billings City Councilors may decide next Monday whether to appeal a judge’s decision requiring the city to pay more than $2.7 million to police officers in past due wages, benefits, attorneys’ fees and penalties. City Administrator Tina Volek wrote in a memo that city attorneys and staff believe that significant errors of fact and law were made in the decision, especially in the ruling that a police officer should be paid longevity from his or her first day of employment.
Park County District Judge Brenda Gilbert ruled on Sept. 8 that the city must pay almost $1 million in past due wages and benefits to more than 140 officers, and over a million dollars in penalties, plus about $653,000 in attorneys’ fees and $126,000 in plaintiffs’ costs. Billings Finance Director Pat Weber said the city has already spent $299,476 in legal fees defending itself against the class action lawsuit.