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May 20, 2024

The Ficticious "$300 Per Day" Argument (Hopper-Burgin) –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 16, 2014

Lately I have been reading a lot about Hopper and Burgin and the suit appealing the arbitrator’s opinion. This amount has been mentioned by several candidates for Sheriff.
This has been misrepresented to the public as far as the dollar amount that might be payable in the event the Sheriff should lose the appeal, and we have no reason to believe he would lose.
Most of the articles refer to a $300 per day payment (ONLY if they win the appeal) that would become due for each day they are not employed by the county.
That part is true, with an exception

Wage Off-Set or SETTOFF

What everyone fails to mention is the fact that the amount payable is offset by the amount of money they have earned in other employment during this time-frame – and both have held other employment. So as an example let’s say that Burgin earns around $4900.00 per month working for the Lawrence County Ambulance Service – that amount would be subtracted from the $300 per day, and he would get the remainder IF he wins the appeal.
In the last paragraph, on page 10 of the SHERIFF’S RESPONSE TO UNION’S POST-HEARING BRIEF. Specifically, in the last paragraph it is stated: “Finally, if the Award is in favor of the Union (hopefully not) the Sheriff requests that the Arbitrator retain jurisdiction for the purpose of determining SETOFF.”

That the Sheriff is entitled to SETOFF is supported by the below Illinois Supreme Court Case of Kelly v. Chicago Park Dist., 409 Ill. 91, 98 N.E.2d 738  (1951).

409 Ill. 91

Supreme Court of Illinois.

KELLY et al.



No. 31697. | March 22, 1951. | Rehearing Denied May 21, 1951.

Action by Thomas J. Kelly, and others, against the Chicago Park District for compensation for the period during which plaintiffs were excluded from positions as civil service employees. The Circuit Court of Cook County, Harry M. Fisher, J., entered judgment for plaintiffs in lesser amounts than claimed and the Appellate Court for the First District reversed the judgment and remanded the cause, 92 N.E.2d 782, 341 Ill.App. 37, and defendant appealed. The Supreme Court, Daily, J., held that plaintiffs’ earnings from outside employment during period of wrongful exclusions from positions should be used to mitigate damages, since plaintiffs were not public officers.
Reversed and remanded with directions.
The plaintiffs in this case, Dee Burgin and Roger Hopper are not “officers” in public employment but merely employees. The term “officer” in this instance is not applied in reference to police duties but instead in reference to elected or appointed position created by the legislature.
In closing, the $300 per day argument is greatly exaggerated, and even if they win the appeal a far lesser amount would become due.


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