Montcalm County pays fired jail guard $5,000

By Elisabeth Waldon • Last Updated 9:44 am on Tuesday, June 11, 2013


STANTON — A woman who was fired from her job as a corrections officer in the Montcalm County Jail will receive $5,000 from the county after a mediation settlement agreement.

Wendy Surdam previously worked as a corrections officer in the Stanton jail from April 2007 until she was fired in July 2012.

On May 28, the Board of Commissioners voted to approve a mediation settlement agreement between Surdam and the sheriff’s office.

According to the settlement, the sheriff’s office will pay $5,000 to Surdam. Her termination will also be changed to a resignation and the sheriff’s office will provide Surdam with a neutral employment reference and state that Surdam resigned if contacted by potential employers.

As part of the agreement, Surdam agreed to release all claims against the county and the sheriff’s office.

The Daily News requested Surdam’s personnel file from Montcalm County via a Freedom Of Information Act, but the request was denied by Sheriff Bill Barnwell, because, he said, unless the public interest in disclosure outweighs the public interest in nondisclosure, the personnel files of law enforcement agencies are not released to the public.

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