Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A contract dispute between Monroe County Jail deputies and the county itself is now front and center in the race for Monroe County Sheriff.
Jail deputies have been working without a contract since 2012. Democratic candidate Todd Baxter said it is Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn's responsibility to step in.
Baxter added that it wasn't right for the sheriff to receive a pay raise while deputies worked without a deal.
Sheriff O'Flynn responded to Baxter on Thursday, saying his salary was chosen by a bipartisan commission and he believes a deal is close.
O'Flynn said negotiators reached an agreement last week, but members voted the deal down.
"The lack of contract speaks loud and clearly that the sheriff does not have the deputies back," Baxter said Thursday. "I spent two decades in the military under the philosophy that you leave no man or woman behind."
"I believe that I've taken an interest in my staff and obviously worry about wanting to maintain and keep a quality staff here, so we look to make sure that they're adequately taken care of," O'Flynn said.
O'Flynn added he believes a deal will happen, citing deals that have been reached with command staff and road patrol deputies in recent months.