WAYNESBORO, Ga. (WJBF) – Sheriff Alfonzo Williams is petitioning Burke County Superior Court to require the Burke County Board of Commissioners to turn over control of the Sheriff’s Office budget to the Sheriff.

He is claiming his Office is being blocked from performing necessary personnel decisions and managerial duties because of the Burke County Commissions’ current role in budget spending.

Payroll decisions, specifically, are singled out in the lawsuit as one way Commissioners are inhibiting Sheriff Williams’ Office and have hindered Sheriff Williams from performing his duty, per the lawsuit – these include either controlling or contracting out payroll services and make decisions about employee rate of pay.

Quoting a prior Georgia case law in a lawsuit from 1992, Sheriff Williams’ lawsuit states that “although the county commission has the power and the duty to issue a budget, the county commission may not dictate to the sheriff how that budget will be spent in the exercise of his duties.”

The lawsuit says that Commissioner have “committed a gross abuse of discretion” by failing to turn over control of the Sheriff’s Office’s budget to Sheriff Williams.

Sheriff Williams is asking the Court to force the Burke County Commission to respond within a frame of 10 to 30 days.