Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry says he made good this week on his pledge to voluntarily return 5 percent of his 2011-2012 salary to the county, which he made as the county discussed budget troubles in 2011. Berry said he dropped off a check on Tuesday, July 3.
Berry made the payment the day after his opponent in the sheriff’s race, Snellville Police Sgt. Trey Downs, requested information from the county on Berry’s reimbursement. Downs received a letter from County Clerk Gina Lindsey Hansford saying that as of July 2, Berry had not returned any of his fiscal year 2012 salary.
"I actually wrote the check last week," Berry said Tuesday. "I said I was going to do it, and I did it."
County Finance Director Jeff Benko said the check was for $3,110. Berry said the amount was based off of his net take home pay.
"I furloughed myself one day a month and it came right out at 5 percent."
Minutes from a May 26, 2011, County Commissioners meeting also show that Berry said he was withdrawing from the county’s health insurance program. Downs received a document from the county showing that Berry changed his health plan from family coverage to employee only, effective July 1, 2011.
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Correction: The amount of the check was based off of Berry's net pay and not gross pay as originally reported. The article has been corrected.