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Issue involving Marine's military pay resolved

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:47 PM

It's done. County officials have resolved the issue of Huron County Sheriff's Deputy Todd Corbin's pay for military training while he is in Australia.

"I don't know who made it an issue, but Todd will be paid what he's supposed to be paid," Sheriff Richard Sutherland said.

Corbin, a corporal with the Marine reserves, reached his maximum allotted time for training when he was honored by President George Bush during a May breakfast at the White House. The Norwalk man has 176 hours allotted from the sheriff's office for military training the maximum time allowed through the Ohio Revised Code (ORC).

Corbin, a 1993 Willard High School graduate, was one of 12 officers honored with the Navy Cross, He saved the lives of several men in his unit during a May 7, 2006 attack in Iraq.

Sutherland, when notified of the payment and time allotment issue, spoke to his legal counsel who suggested the sheriff get a recommendation from the county prosecutor's office.

Huron County Assistant Prosecutor Daivia Kasper said Sutherland asked her last week about the matter.

"Shortly before that I pulled out the statute and took a look at it," she added.

Kasper determined through the ORC that employees like Corbin are entitled to a leave of absence "without a loss of pay" for one month per calendar year. Since Corbin has exhausted his 176 hours, he would get the difference between his deputy's salary and the combination of his salary plus military pay or $500, whichever is less.

"He's entitled to that for the entire time he's called up," Kasper said.

Corbin was deployed June 9 to Australia for three weeks of annual training. He is expected to return to the states as early as July 1.

His wife Tonya said Wednesday that "we haven't yet been notified" about the payment issue. She noted that Sutherland has not contacted her or Todd.

"I think it's been handled unprofessionally," she added.

Tonya said her husband has gone "above and beyond" for both the sheriff's office and Marines and hasn't done anything wrong. She said her husband believed his employer would handle everything appropriately.

Before meeting the president, Todd Corbin had four days off approved by Sutherland after making the request through a supervisor.

The sheriff said earlier there was "never an issue at all" about Corbin getting the time off, but rather how and under whose authority he would be paid for the rest of his 2007 military training. Sutherland, at the time, said Corbin might need to request personal or vacation time to be paid by his office.

Other possibilities for Corbin were to work on his days off or make arrangements to work extra time.

Kasper said she recently reviewed the state law with Sutherland so the sheriff could understand it and to make sure Corbin "was paid properly under the law." Sutherland said he would abide by what the law, emphasizing the importance of everything being done legally.

Kasper, the legal counsel for the county commissioners, said the commissioners could enact legislation to increase the pay for employees who are in similar situations as Corbin.

"I don't even know if they've been asked to," she added.

Corbin joined the sheriff's office about 10 years ago as a corrections officer before becoming a full-time deputy. He enlisted with the Marines in 2001.

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