JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri taxpayers are now on the hook for more than $124 million. The interest is rising by the second. The court judgment has risen $12 million just since last year.
Fox 2 was the only member of the media in a Jefferson City courtroom last summer when corrections officers won a landmark multi-million dollar judgment.
“We’re still earning interest on the judgment at 9 percent a year," said attorney Gary Burger, who represents the officers. "It’s about $12 million since we got our verdict August 2018 but—in addition to that, Chris—today, thousands of corrections officers are going to work, being required to do pre- and post-shift activity, and not being paid for it."
Here’s what he’s talking about.
Missouri corrections officers don’t get paid when they first arrive at the prison. They first must get their equipment, go through checkpoints, gather intelligence and reach their post before the state recognizes they’re working. The court ruled that the lost pay adds up to two and a half hours a week – per officer.
“They’re still losing wages today and losing wages every month, about $800,000 a month the class is still losing even after the verdict,” Burger said.
The Missouri Department of Corrections would not comment. The Missouri Attorney General’s office said it’s reviewing the appeals court decision and deciding the next step.
Meanwhile, the money clock keeps ticking, as it quickly approaches $125 million.