Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

Latest News

July 19, 2013

District Attorney requests another lawyer for department

Corsicana — Editor's note: An update to this story with the headline "County hears more budget requests, additional meetings set" published on this site on Saturuday, July 20. It clairifies remarks made by D.A. Lowell Thompson regarding postponing trials in the county.

Arguing that six prosecutors in the Navarro County District Attorney’s office are too few to accommodate seven courts, D.A. Lowell Thompson asked for another attorney, as well as an additional investigator for his office when he met with the County Commissioners Friday morning in a budget session.

“We have more judges in the county than we do have prosecutors,” Thompson said. “There is no scenario where it’s appropriate to have no one in the office to answer law enforcement’s questions.”

The salary for another lawyer would be about $54,174, and for an investigator about $38,000. However, Thompson said he can cut $61,740 in other costs, such as expert witness pay, that could go towards the salary of the new hires, if approved by the commissioners court.

Because of the shortage of assistant district attorneys, they have canceled vacations and often worked nights or at home to meet the workload, Thompson told the commissioners. He admitted that sometimes trials are postponed because of staffing in his department.

“The courts aren’t slowing down because of us,” he said. “We’re going 100 miles an hour trying more cases than we ever have.”

Asked by Commissioner Jason Grant if the county wasn’t giving too much probation, Thompson said probation actually helps matters by keeping would-be felons on a tight leash. Probation moves cases, jail time drags it out, he told Grant.

He also asked for new computers for his department, and a second official vehicle for the investigator to drive while going out to interview witnesses and other duties.

Like the other department heads in the county, Thompson made a plea for pay raises on behalf of his employees, arguing that he’s lost well-trained attorneys to other positions because of the relatively low pay his office offers.

Commissioner James Olsen was quick to respond: “Whatever we do with salaries is going to be based on our tax base, and not what some other county’s tax base is,” he said. “I think we all agree we want to do what we can, and not what some other county can (afford).”

The Justices of the Peace were represented at the budget meeting Friday by Connie Hickman and Kirby Hill, who asked for raises for their employees, as well as a $75 a month bump in travel allowances, to help alleviate the higher costs of gas and vehicle upkeep. The average budget per JP’s office is $181,431. This year’s budget requests are actually slightly lower than in 2012 because last year the justices replaced their computer system, an expensive allocation that won’t be repeated in the 2013-14 budget.

“All four of our offices come in under budget each year,” Hill told the commissioners.

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • FAA proposes to fines Southwest Airlines $12M

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday it is proposing a $12 million civil fine against Southwest Airlines for failing to comply in three separate cases with safety regulations related to repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners.

    July 28, 2014

  • Jury says it is stuck in Ventura case after five days

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — The jury weighing former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura's defamation lawsuit against "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle has told the judge they don't think they can reach a unanimous decision.

    July 28, 2014

  • City, county start week with meetings

    The Navarro County Commissioners Court and the Cosicana City Council both have meetings set for Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • 7-27-14 HayFire.jpg Hay fire closes Interstate 45

    A hay trailer fire Sunday on Interstate 45 near Richland shut down the highway

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • County values up for 2014

    The property value of Navarro County went up 5 1/2 percent in value for 2015, a rebound from the last two years when the city and county were reeling from the loss of some major companies’ plants.

    July 26, 2014

  • Mills place pool Home, sweet home

    Judy and Wayne Nelson had a family of visitors last week — the daughter and grandchildren of the architect who designed their 1927 house on Mills Place.

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • police stock photo Six arrested following drug raid

    Six people were arrested following the execution of a search warrant Thursday night by the Corsicana Police Department’s narcotics detectives, patrol officers and a Navarro County Sheriff’s deputy who works as a courtesy officer for the Arbors Apartment, 1300 N. 45th St.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25-14 AgriLife additions.jpg AgriLife adds two new agents to Navarro office

    It’s been awhile since the AgriLife Extension office in Navarro County has been fully staffed, but it’s going great guns now.
    New to the staff are Meredith DeBorde, and Lorie Stovall, who will be heading up the 4-H programs and the family and consumer programs, respectively.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff seeks salary shuffle

    Navarro County Sheriff Elmer Tanner went to the County Commissioner’s budget workshop Thursday to ask for a change of how his officers are compensated, or, alternately, an 8 percent across-the-board raise.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25-14 CAC boat.jpg Floating a big fundraiser idea

    The big night is fast approaching for the 10 Grand Country Jam, an Aug. 2 fundraiser for the Child Advocates of Navarro County. What will make it a big night is the grand prize, a $31,000 pontoon boat.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo