Declining population leads to lower sheriff’s salary

During Monday’s Warren County Board of Supervisors meeting, Sheriff Martin Pace revealed he took it upon himself to arrange a pay adjustment – cutting his salary by thousands of dollars.

“As you all know, sheriff salaries are set by the state legislature based on population,” Pace began. “After the 2020 census, no one contacted me with updated population information for Warren County. The state or the Census Bureau, no one sent me anything, so I started doing my own research.

Sheriff Pace investigated the matter and found that, to his knowledge, the current population of Warren County is 44,722.

“That’s 278 people below the threshold to pay at level two,” Pace said. “So I asked the payroll department to immediately reduce my salary to level three.”

According to MS Code § 25-3-25 (2019), this amounts to a $5,000 reduction in the sheriff’s annual salary.

MS Code Excerpt § 25-3-25 (2019)

Sheriff Pace went on to say that he wanted to repay the county any overpayments he had received. Board attorney Blake Teller is in the process of figuring out exactly when the salary adjustment is supposed to have taken place after the census.

Once they are able to determine how long the sheriff was paid more than the law allows, Pace will remit the appropriate amount to Warren County.