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Home / News / Local / Suit over St. Louis County ‘sheriff’ fund pending

Suit over St. Louis County ‘sheriff’ fund pending

A lawsuit over a state fund that supplements deputy sheriff salaries is going forward, though in diminished form.

Lawmakers created the salary fund in 2008, paid for by a $10 fee county sheriffs collect when they serve court papers. The Missouri Sheriff Methamphetamine Relief Task Force administers the fund.

In 2013, St. Louis County Superintendent of Police Tim Fitch submitted an application that was rejected because it “was not submitted by the Sheriff of St. Louis County.” Fitch and several other St. Louis County officers filed a lawsuit, alleging among other things that the fund was unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority.

The Supreme Court on March 25 dismissed several of the constitutional challenges to the fund. But the court said that the superintendent of police of St. Louis County can continue to argue that the police superintendent is the functional equivalent of a sheriff and therefore qualifies for a grant.

Fitch has since retired, but his successor, Jon M. Belmar, is continuing with the lawsuit in Cole County Circuit Court. An amended petition is pending before Judge Patricia Joyce.

The case is St. Louis County v. State of Missouri, 12AC-CC00801-01.