BERLIN – The Worcester County Commissioners approved a 15% salary increase for the sheriff this week.
On Tuesday, the commissioners approved a resolution to increase the salary for the Worcester County Sheriff to $101,200 following the election in November. Currently, the salary is $88,000.
“Currently, the sheriff is one of the lowest paid of all county government department heads and the states attorney of Worcester County,” Sheriff Matt Crisafulli wrote in a letter to the commissioners. “Bringing this scale up puts the sheriff’s pay at a more equitable rate.”
In 2015, the commissioners set the sheriff’s salary at $88,000. Crisafulli proposed an adjustment to the pay scale because the sheriff does not receive cost-of-living increases. A Maryland Association of Counties salary survey shows that the average statewide sheriff’s salary is $117,000. The average sheriff’s salary for the Eastern Shore’s nine counties is $101,333.
Crsiafulli proposed a 15% increase to take effect at the start of the next term in December 2022.
“This is still much lower than our state’s attorney’s office,” he wrote to the commissioners. “That elected office is paid based on 90% of the district court judges salary. Having this pay rate established is a fair and equitable rate for a position that garners the highest degree of accountability in our county.”
The commissioners voted 6-0 to approve the salary increase. The commissioners also approved a resolution regarding salary increases for Worcester County Orphans’ Court judges. When the 2022-2026 term begins, judges will receive $9,500 per year.
Commissioner Joe Mitrecic asked if the commissioners were required to look at their own salaries. Roscoe Leslie, the county’s attorney, said the resolution passed several years ago would give the commissioners the cost of living increase for the prior term.
“Unless you take action otherwise it automatically occurs,” Leslie said.
Commissioner Chip Bertino pointed out the commissioners currently received $26,000 a year. The cost-of-living increase will bring the salary to slightly more than $28,000.
“I didn’t want anyone to think we were going to get a monstrous salary increase if we didn’t act,” he said.