Knox County's interim trustee filed his first salary suit on Friday. The new budget saves taxpayers thousands of dollars.
Craig Leuthold had about a month to put together the salary suit. It cuts spending from his predecessor's plan by more than $70,000 dollars. But since Leuthold hasn't filled three open positions, the savings actually add up to about $350,000.
Leuthold also cut one full-time position and one seasonal position.
This year's plan doesn't include travel allowances nor any money for County Technical Assistance Services, or CTAS training. That's the program that landed Leuthold's predecessor in trouble.
John Duncan III gave $3,000 bonuses to several employees for taking the courses when they hadn't completed the work. He pleaded guilty in July to one count of official misconduct and resigned.
County commissioners appointed Leuthold to fill the position until the end of Duncan's term next year.
The county commission formed a task force last year to look into whether the CTAS bonus policy should continue, but they haven't made a decision yet.
"We're going to wait until the commission makes a final decision. If they decide that there's to be no bonuses, then there are no bonuses. If they decide to give county employees bonuses, then I believe the employees here in the trustee's office deserve the same recognition that the other county employees receive," said Leuthold.
Fee offices in Knox County file the salary suits each year outlining the department's annual spending plans. The mayor then signs off on them.