Lawyer Pay

County Attorney Paid $375K to Get Raise After Spat over Merit Increases

The top lawyer in Jefferson County, Ala., won’t have to follow through on his threat to quit after winning a battle over promised merit pay raises for his office.

County Attorney Jeff Sewell already was earning $375,000 a year, making him the county’s highest paid employee, reports. Now he will get a $18,750 pay raise; three other lawyers in his office will also get 5 percent pay increases.

Sewell had cleaned his desk and packed boxes last month after the county commission balked at paying the money promised by previous board members. A 10-step pay plan adopted in 2008 was intended to shield county attorneys from coercion by commission members.

Jefferson County, which includes Birmingham, filed for bankruptcy last year.

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