AGO 5837.

Case Date:December 29, 1980
Michigan Attorney General Opinions 1980. AGO 5837. December 29, 1980STATE OF MICHIGAN FRANK J. KELLEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL Opinion No. 5837COUNTIES: Sheriffs-appointment powers of employees The statutory powers of a newly elected or appointed sheriff to appoint deputies, matrons and other employees of the department are impacted by the police matron act, the veterans preference act, any collective bargaining agreements or obligations deriving from the public employees relations act, a civil service system adopted pursuant to the civil service commission act, the Forensic Polygraph Examiners Act, and federal constitutional guaranties with respect to freedoms of expression and political association and due process of law, as may be applicable. Honorable Alvin J. DeGrow State Senator The Capitol Lansing, Michigan 48909You have requested my opinion on the following two questions: '1. What are the constitutional appointment powers of a newly elected, re-elected, or a sheriff appointed during a term regarding deputies, matrons, etc.? '2. What effect would an existing labor contract have on the above?' Inasmuch as these questions involve overlapping issues, they will be considered together. The Constitution contains no provision specifically having to do with the appointment powers of a sheriff. Those powers derive from legislative enactments pursuant to Const 1963, art 7, Sec. 4, which provides, in pertinent part: 'There shall be elected for four-year terms in each organized county a sheriff . . . whose duties and powers shall be provided by law. . . .' Among the powers granted to a sheriff by statute is the authority contained in 1846 RS, ch 14, Sec. 70, as amended by 1978 PA 635; MCLA 51.70; MSA 5.863, to appoint and to revoke the appointment of deputies: 'Each sheriff may appoint 1 or more deputy sheriffs at the sheriff's pleasure, and may revoke those appointments at any time. . . .' Another of the powers granted to a sheriff by statute is the authority contained in 1897 PA 109, Sec. 2; MCLA 123.892; MSA 5.3302, to appoint and remove police matrons, subject to stated limitations: '. . . the sheriff shall appoint . . . one or more respectable women . . . who shall be known as police matrons. No woman shall be appointed police matron unless recommended for such office in writing by at least twenty women in good standing and residents in the city in which such appointment is made. The police matron shall...

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