LOWVILLE — After voting it down for three months to send a message to the state government, the Lewis County Board of Legislators unceremoniously passed the resolution granting the district attorney’s pay raise required by law.
Resolution 218, increasing District Attorney Leanne K. Moser’s yearly salary from $197,600 to $200,355, a $2,755 bump as is legally mandated, was passed without dissent.
The resolution contains the history of the position’s increases since 2016 when, because the salary must by law be equal to that of the county court judge, it was increased by $31,000 to match the state-legislated increase to judges’ payments.
The root of the board’s protest is that the state contribution toward district attorney salaries has remained at $72,189 since 2014, less than half of the DA’s salary, requiring counties to foot the bill for mandated increases.
In addition to refusing to grant the raise to Ms. Moser, the board has recorded its opposition to this unfunded mandate every budgeting season, asking state leaders to “rectify this unfair financial burden to the county” by budgeting to reimburse counties for the increases, retroactive to 2016 and going forward.
All of Ms. Moser’s increases combined since 2016 total $47,855, the amount legislators want to be reimbursed by the state.
In previous board meetings, legislators have said their resistance to approving the salary increase is not a reflection of their opinion of the lawyer’s performance.
Ms. Moser’s newly approved raise is retroactive to April 1, when it was originally due to be processed.