Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy did not consult county board members when he changed his deputies' pay to an hourly rate - nor was that required by state law, Toftoy said.
Patch blogger Todd Milliron, who supports Toftoy's opponent in the November election, has asserted that the deputy coroner's pay should be set by the Kendall County Board. and chairman of the Kendall County Republican Central Committee, is facing independent Mike Dabney, an Oswego firefighter.
An attorney in the Kendall County State's Attorney's Office told Toftoy he needed to change his pay policies to comply with IRS regulations, Toftoy said.
Toftoy had been paying deputy coroners $24 a day when they were "on call," plus a $100 stipend for each new case they handled. Toftoy removed the "on call" pay and went to an hourly rate based on each deputy's tenure with the coroner's office on April 1. The average pay rate is $24 an hour, and the average call lasts about 4 hours, Toftoy said.
Toftoy said he made the changes after consulting with Assistant State's Attorney Leslie Johnson, who never advised him to seek county board approval for the new pay system.
But Milliron questioned whether state law required board approval, citing a statute that states:
Each coroner may appoint one or more deputies as the coroner, in his or her sole discretion, determines necessary and appropriate, subject to county board appropriations. The appointment shall be in writing and signed by the coroner. A deputy's compensation shall be determined by the county board.
Toftoy relied on another portion of state statute that says:
The county coroner shall control the internal operations of his office. Subject to the applicable county appropriation ordinance, the coroner shall procure necessary equipment, materials, supplies and services to perform the duties of the office. Compensation of deputies and employees shall be fixed by the coroner, subject to budgetary limitations established by the county board.
Kendall County State's Attorney Eric Weis did not return a phone call and an e-mail this week seeking clarification on those two statutes.