Gwinnett commission to consider $50K raise for sheriff

The Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners is expected to consider a $50,000 raise for the county sheriff at a Tuesday meeting.

Sheriff Keybo Taylor currently makes about $143,000, according to the county. A memo to commissioners from Adrienne McAllister, director of human resources, said the county had not increased the sheriff’s salary above the statutory minimum as several others in Georgia have.

“The current salary of the sheriff of Gwinnett County is not in keeping with the salaries of similarly sized counties in the Atlanta metropolitan area,” McAllister said in the memo.

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Gwinnett is the second-largest county in Georgia, with about 957,000 residents, according to the 2020 census. In DeKalb County, which has about 200,000 fewer people, the sheriff makes about $153,000.

Fulton County, Georgia’s largest, and Cobb County did not provide their sheriffs’ salaries Monday. According to database, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick Labat makes about $157,000 and Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens earns about the same as Taylor does now.

District 1 Commissioner Kirkland Carden said he supports the proposed raise because some of Taylor’s deputies make more than he does.

“He’s supposed to be the head officer and yet he makes less than some of his command staff,” Carden said. “It’s about getting sharp and competent people wanting to run for that position.”

Taylor did not respond Monday to emailed questions.

The raise would be retroactive to Sept. 1, according to McAllister’s memo. The resolution commissioners are scheduled to vote on Tuesday would also grant Taylor the same cost of living increases as other county employees.

The sheriff operates the Gwinnett County Jail and provides security for county courts.

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Taylor is serving his first term after winning election in 2020. He almost immediately ended Gwinnett’s participation in a federal program that allowed local deputies to act as immigration agents. He formed a task force on dealing with people experiencing mental health issues.

He was also accused of extortion after three bail bond companies sued, claiming Taylor shut them down because the owners did not donate to his election campaign. Taylor said his request for “support” was not monetary. One of the lawsuits was settled, while another ended when a Superior Court judge ruled in Taylor’s favor.

The Gwinnett commission will also vote on one-time payments of $1,500 for full-time employees and $750 for part-time employees, citing high inflation and economic uncertainty.

Tyler Estep contributed to this article.