A divorce filing in Montgomery County is of interest because it involves Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs, who is asking for alimony from her husband Allan, a chiropractor and former member of the Saline County Quorum Court.
Dr. Dabbs filed the divorce lawsuit in February in Montgomery Circuit Court. He said his residence is in that county now. He cited the general indignities section of the statute as the reason for the divorce.
Mayor Dabbs filed a counter-claim March 17, saying she should be awarded the divorce on similar ground and that she should be awarded spousal support and alimony. The couple, married more than 24 years, have two children, one older than 18 and one born in 1999. Both ask the court to adjudicate property and support issues.
Dr. Dabbs said, in response to the counterclaim, that Mayor Dabbs should be asked “to provide a rehabilitative plan to support her request for alimony. The defendant’s request for alimony is not well-founded as she earns a six-figure salary and benefits and therefore does not have a need for any support — rehabilitative or otherwise.”
I’ve been unable to get a city official on the phone with current mayoral pay, but news reporting in 2014 put it around $70,000, not counting any payments for health insurance, retirement and the like. I’ve also sent questions to the mayor.
Dabbs’ tenure has been marked by the occasional controversy, beginning when she tried to run for office under the name Republican Dabbs, to make her partisan coloration clear to voters in the non-partisan election. A self-directed pay raise for herself and a Republican friend elected city clerk stirred controversy, too. Her vigorous new era prompted this cover story later by Cheree Franco.
She is strong-willed, the record shows. In the divorce case, her original lawyer, Sherrye Balmaz, dropped out and Dabbs later found a substitute. Wrote Balmaz in a motion to be relieved as counsel:
“Counsel has been in communication with the client and cannot continue to represent her interest as there have been irreconcilable differences regarding strategy and other fundamental disagreements which make continuation impossible and not in the best interest of the client.”
The court record indicates no hearings are currently set in the case.
UPDATE: Here’s the data on Dabbs’ pay in Bryant:
Current Annual Salary – $75,212.80 ($2,892.80 bi-weekly)
Bi-weekly Car Allowance – $230.76 (or just under $6,000 annually)
Monthly Municipal Health premium paid by City – $819.00 ($409.50 bi-weekly) (or $9,828 annually)
APERS contribution of 14.5% biweekly – $452.92 (or $11,775.92 annually)
With benefits, then, her compensation is worth about $102,000 a year.
She’s also reimbursed for expenses. This week, for example, she’s receiving $243 for expenses to attend a conference this week. This figure was given originally incorrectly as $243 per day.