Sheriff uses Facebook Live to allege Watts’ deputy pay numbers were incorrect

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022 — Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa took to Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon to offer a rebuttal to the deputy wage figures former Judge Executive Dean Watts presented at a press conference last week (Editor’s Note: See the video posted of Watt’s 7-minute press conference at the bottom of this page).

Pineiroa said his intent was not to attack Watts, but “to simply put the right numbers where they should be” when it comes to the pay received by the 17 deputies who are paid by Nelson Fiscal Court. He said some of Watts’ numbers were “erroneous.”


Pineiroa said that prior to last Thursday press conference called by Watts, he had no idea exactly what he was going to discuss beyond the broad topic of “law enforcement.”

“It’s shocking that he was talking about the Sheriff’s Office but did not involve me in any way, shape, or form of what the press conference was about,” he said.

Pineiroa even asked Watts if he was going to split the sheriff’s office and start up a new version of the county police department. No answer, he said.

Pineiroa agreed with Watt’s narrative that described the increase in the costs over the years to fiscal court of the benefits and associated costs to having the deputies on the county payroll — just like they have for all the departments in county government, he said.

The sheriff also took issue with a list of the deputies funding by fiscal court because that list had the years of service of each deputy. Watts’ list did not count the deputies entire service in law enforcement, it only counted the deputies’ length of employment with the sheriff’s office.

Pineiroa said other agencies — including the Bardstown Police Department — count all the years of law enforcement service when an officer is hired. If an officer comes in with 10 years of service, they receive the pay of a 10-year department veteran, he said.

Not so with county government, he said.

Pineiroa said his goal with his live Facebook video was to put out accurate, legitimate information and not “smoke and mirrors.”

Pineiroa also said Watts’ list failed to explain that deputies with higher pay had assumed more responsibilities on the job or were in specialty positions, like detective, he said.

Pineiroa said he wasn’t trying to make deputy pay a political issue.

“I’m very passionate about this because I remember where I came from,” he said. “I was one of those deputies with three young kids out there busting my butt, serving my community, and I want [my deputies] to feel rewarded for the time they’re putting in here in our county.”


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