(a) Classified positions of secretaries existing under local government merit systems. Classified positions of secretaries existing under local government merit systems in those circuits having 15 or more circuit judges, serving the courts on October 10, 1975, shall be subject to the provisions of the State Merit System and all other benefits applicable to state employees; provided, that they shall have the retirement benefit options described in subdivision (b) (2) of Section 12-17-4.
(b) Additional confidential secretaries. In circumstances other than those provided in subsection (a) of this section, each circuit and district court judge may employ a confidential secretary without regard to civil service qualifications or regulations, to serve at the pleasure of the judge. However, before the appointment thereof, the Administrative Director of Courts shall certify to the state Comptroller and presiding circuit judge of the respective circuit that such a secretary is needed. The compensation of confidential secretaries shall be fixed by the Administrative Director of Courts.