Complaint filed against Williamson County Commissioners Court

Posted in Commentary, Commissioners Court, County Judge, Uncategorized, Williamson County at 8:45 am by wcnews

The complaint is regarding an issue that EOW has posted on serveral times, (Who should be the county budget officer, and Pay Raises And The Budget Officer Issue Still Lingers), that County Judge Dan Gattis, Sr, continues to operate as the County Budget Officer in violation of state law. The Williamson County Public Policy Coalition (WCPPC) has filed a an official complaint stating that fact. From the WCPPC press release [.pdf]:

An official complaint has been filed against Williamson County commissioners court (WCCC) by a group of citizens who say that County Judge Dan Gattis is serving as the county’s budget officer in violation of state law.

The complaint was faxed to County Attorney Jana Duty on Monday afternoon (June 8), and it is also being copied to Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, according to Jeff Maurice, spokesman for the citizens.

“We’re notifying Mr. Bradley in case this matter could turn out to lie within his jurisdiction, and we’re notifying Mr. Abbott because his office already has rendered an opinion stating that the county is in violation of state law by having Judge Gattis serve as the county’s budget officer,” Maurice said.

According to the letter sent by the citizens group, on February 20, 2007, the WCCC voted to change the county’s budget preparation process by choosing to operate under subchapter c of the Texas Local Government Code and to appoint Gattis as the county budget officer.

Then, the letter continues, “ … you (Duty) sent a request to Texas Attorney General Abbott (the ‘AG’) asking whether the WCCC could actually do what it purported to do in Agenda Item 31 on February 20 ….”

As stated in the citizens’ letter, on November 26, 2007, “the AG issued its written opinion to you in which it determined that under Texas law, the answer to your question was ‘no’.”


The letter then goes on to say, “It is extremely troubling that our elected county judge has chosen to ignore, and continues to this day to ignore, Texas law as laid out and described in the AG opinion and the cases cited therein.”

According to Maurice, the official complaint was filed in the wake of numerous efforts by citizens to get the WCCC to correct the problem by naming a different budget officer. “The Hutto Citizens Group has published newsletters about it, county officials have been contacted about it, and media have done stories about it, but the WCCC simply has dug in its heels and refused to take action it needs to take to comply with state law,” Maurice said. “All five members of commissioners court and the county attorney have their fingerprints of assent on this issue, and now it’s time for someone in an official capacity to step up and fix it.”

The letter also states that the matter “could be official misconduct on Judge Gattis’ part.”

The closing paragraph of the letter asks Duty “to formally pursue this complaint and inform us of the action or actions that you will take to rectify this situation and cause Judge Gattis and the WCCC to comply with Texas law.”

Hopefully this will force the county to finally address this issue and get the county operating legally again where the budget is concerned. This link [.pdf] includes not only the press release but also, Citizens’ letter to County Attorney Jana Duty (and copied to Bradley and Abbott), Williamson County resolution naming Judge Gattis as county budget officer, Letter from Jana Duty to Greg Abbott requesting AG opinion, Opinion letter from Greg Abbott.

1 Comment »

  1. Eye on Williamson » WCCC to take up County Budget Officer issue next week said,

    June 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    […] The Williamson County Public Policy Coalition (WCPPC) had a press release announcing that they had filed an official complaint against the Williamson County Commissioners Court (WCCC). It appears the complaint got the commissioners attention. This is the second item on […]

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