46 Lee County Sheriff's employees take buyouts, totaling nearly $3 million in salary

Lee County Sheriff’s Office has released a document showing that 46 employees who made a total of nearly $3 million a year combined have opted for a buyout with the agency.

The highest paid, Capt. Bradley Gossman, made $88,590.32, according to the document. Gossman served for 27 years and will retire June 23.

The least paid were two civilian employees, Alison Gregory, who served for 10 years as a communications operator, and Jerry Weatherwax, a district clerk who was employed for 12 years. They each made $35,960.60. Gregory will retire June 30, Weatherwax’s last day was March 18.

Many of those who accepted the buyout included some high-ranking staff members whose wages were in the $70,000 to the low- to mid-$80,000 range.

Two of the agency’s automotive mechanics are retiring with a combined total of 67 years service. Henry Fichter was employed for 29 years, earned $57,988.20 and will retire June 30. John Dowdy worked on the agency’s vehicles for 38 years, the longest of any of those retiring, and earned $52,268.06. He will retire June 23.

The majority of the people who took the buyout were certified law enforcement officers, some with as little as five years on the job.

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