October 7th, 2013 11:45 am | Andrea Damewood News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, Multnomah County, PDX News

Sheriff's Department Deducting Union Dues from Deputies' Paychecks, Keeping the Money, Tort Claim Says

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A Multnomah County Sheriff Corrections Deputy is threatening to sue the county, saying the sheriff's department is deducting his union dues from his paychecks—but then keeping the money.

A tort claim filed Sept. 27 by Portland attorney Hank Kaplan, who represents the county's corrections deputies union, says the union hasn't received money from dues withheld from deputies since around April 2012.

"We have information that the county has been making these unlawful deductions and keeping the money from dozens of other recently hired corrections deputies, perhaps as far back as 18 months," Kaplan writes.

The county is supposed to deduct the dues and transfer the money to the union. His firm plans to file a suit on behalf of Deputy Charles Greholver-Hatcher, who's seen union dues deducted from his paycheck, and expand it to a class-action suit on behalf of all deputies whose money has gone missing.

"Money’s being taken out of their paychecks, but (the county) seems unable to tell us where the money's been going," Kaplan tells WW. "It’s just evidence of incompetence more than anything else. I don’t think anyone’s trying to steal this money from the union, just that their systems aren't working as they should."

The union dues—which are $35 per month—seem to be missing from just newly-hired deputies, Kaplan says. He estimates there could be as many as 30 members who are affected.

Kaplan says the union has been trying to get the county to fix the problem for some time. "It’s getting to the point where we’re getting really tired of this," he says. "We filed a tort claim to light a fire under this."

A spokesman for the Multnomah County Sheriff's Department did not immediately return calls for comment. 

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