Wood County Sheriff sues for sick time benefits worth $45,000

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WOOD COUNTY, Wis. (WSAW) -- Outgoing Wood County Sheriff Thomas Reichert is suing Wood County over the denial to pay out post-employment health benefits.

In court documents, Reichert attorney's states her client is entitled to nearly $45,000 from 993.2 hours of sick time and 10.5 hours of comp time from his role as deputy sheriff, before was appointed sheriff by Gov. Jim Doyle June 23, 2005 and elected sheriff Nov. 4, 2006.

The complaint cites a resolution the Wood County Board of Supervisors passed that states "...that the sheriff is eligible for the same health and life insurance and retirement benefits available to the non-elected department heads and that said benefits are subject to the same terms and conditions as the non-elected department heads..."

In August, Reichert filed a claim with the county for the benefits, but the county denied them in October.

The county's denial states “any prior sick, vacation, or other compensatory time off balances an elected official my have had prior to becoming elected or appointed are not tracked by Wood County.”

State law does not allot specific vacation or sick time for sheriffs. It also does not dictate what happens to previous county benefits Reichert is attempting to claim now.

Reichert is retiring Jan. 31, 2019.

The county must respond 20 days after receiving the summons.