November 1, 1996
Subject: Whether a sheriff is eligible to receive compensation for both the offices of sheriff and jailer, after the two offices and the official duties of each are merged into one.
Written by: James M. Ringo
Requested by: Raymond J. Sabbatine
Syllabus: The sheriff would not be eligible to receive compensation for both the offices of sheriff and jailer after they are merged, and the sheriff assumes the duties and responsibilities of the jailer.
OAGs cited: OAG 95-31; OAG 82-80
Statutes construed: KRS 64.527
Constitutional sections cited: Section 246
Opinion of the Attorney General
This is in response to a request for an opinion which asks if the offices of jailer and sheriff are merged and the sheriff assumes the duties and responsibilities of the jailer, is the sheriff eligible to receive compensation for both offices.
Section 246 of the Constitution of Kentucky states that no public officer or employee may receive compensation for official services in excess of certain stated amounts. Those dollar limits are relative, and have been adjusted upward on the authority of Matthews v Allen, Ky., 360 S.W. 2d 135 (1962). The maximum dollar limits of Section 246 apply to county judges executive, county clerks, sheriffs, justices of the peace, county commissioners, coroners and jailers, pursuant to KRS 64.527. OAG 82-80.
If an officer receives official compensation for more than one duty, the amounts cannot in the aggregate exceed the Section 246 limitation. Coleman v Hurst, 226 Ky. 501, 11 S.W. 2d 133 (1928); OAG 95-31. In Funk v Milliken, Ky., 317 S.W. 2d 499, 504, (1958), the Court of Appeals held that the maximum limit of Section 246 applies to the person, regardless of the number of offices he may hold.
Thus, it is the opinion of this office, based on the authorities set out above, that the Sheriff would not be eligible to receive compensation for both offices after the official duties of each are merged into one.
A. B. Chandler III
James M. Ringo
Assistant Attorney General