Civil suit against jail over wages

By Sam Neace - [email protected]

Courtesy photo | The civil action was filed in Perry Circuit Court on Oct. 27.

HAZARD — On Oct. 27, a civil action case was filed in Perry Circuit Court, with 33 employees of the Kentucky River Regional Jail, some current and some former, acting as Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs have filed Civil Action on the grounds of retirement benefits they claim they have been denied unjustly.

According to the case’s documentation, these claims center around incidents that began to occur on or near July 1, 2005, when the facility changed from the Perry County Detention Center to the Kentucky River Regional Jail. At this time, the previous Jail Administrator was over the facility.

The Plaintiff’s argue that they were told by the facility’s administration, upon the jail changing to the Kentucky River Regional Jail, they were no longer considered county employees, therefore not qualifying for the County Employees Retirement System (CERS). According to the Plaintiffs, this information was untrue, and they further state that false paperwork was filed in regards to retirement benefits on their behalf without their knowledge. If these claims are true, the backpay for some of the employees would equal into the thousands of dollars. The Plaintiffs also state that four employees of the jail were given the opportunity to file properly for retirement and were receiving benefits, while the others remained unaware.

The case’s documentation also states that that former Administrator, Tim Kilburn, reported that, once an employee was hired, that employee was given the option to go into CERS, and the four employees enrolled in CERS had chosen that option. The documentation says that in March of 2015 Kilburn posted a memorandum instructing employees, who were not enrolled in Transamerica or the state retirement benefits system, to see him so they could get enrolled, with enrollment in retirement becoming mandatory as of April 1 that year. The Plaintiffs say they were not given the option of enrolling in CERS and some of the Plaintiffs state that they were no longer employed at the jail when the memorandum was posted.

Kilburn is named as a Defendant in the case, along with the Kentucky River Regional Jail, the Kentucky River Regional Jail Authority and Kentucky River Regional Jail Inc. In 2005, when the jail became a regional facility, the Perry County Fiscal Court and Knott County Fiscal Court assumed shared fiscal responsibility for the jail. Therefore, they are named as Defendants in the case. Kentucky Retirement Systems is also named as a Defendant. The Plaintiffs are seeking damages in the case. There is no word as of now on how much the damages would equal if the ruling were to go in favor of the Plaintiffs.

Sam Neace can be reached at 606-623-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.

Courtesy photo | The civil action was filed in Perry Circuit Court on Oct. 27. photo | The civil action was filed in Perry Circuit Court on Oct. 27.

By Sam Neace

[email protected]

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