City law enforcement: New report shows new discrepancies

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By Matt Kelton
Pioneer Sentinel

Questions concerning a report that indicated the Clay County Sheriff’s Office did not fulfill its end of a deal with the city of Henrietta for law enforcement has spurred a review of the 23-year-old contract.

The sheriff’s office has since submitted a new report, which states that the CCSO provided Henrietta with 24-hour coverage seven days per week.

“From what they’ve submitted now, it looks like there was 24-7 coverage,” said City Administrator Kelley Bloodworth during Monday’s Henrietta City Council meeting.

The original report showed that the CCSO shorted the city by 267.5 hours over a period of one year.

The new report also shows discrepancies, said Bloodworth, this time in the number of hours worked by relief deputies. The original report also had deputies listed that are not on the new report.

The city is billed quarterly, based on figures reported by the sheriff’s office each month. The amount billed to the city in the last quarter is not accurate because the hours worked as sited by the report have changed, said Bloodworth.

On Tuesday, the city manager said there is a difference of 45 hours between the two reports. The city pays for relief deputies at a rate of $15 per hour, for a total of $675 owed to the city, billed for the months of July-September.

The law enforcement contract also requires the city to pay a portion of the CCSO teletype and computer maintenance budget which on average costs the city $2,000 per month. In October, said Bloodworth, the county charged $12,000. When the bill was questioned, the sheriff’s office said the cost was to pay for backup servers at the CCSO. The city administrator said that computer hardware is a capital expense for which the city is not responsible.

The council approved a motion to exclude the cost of the backup servers from the bill.

Sheriff Kenny Lemons did not attend Monday’s meeting.

Howard Raeke, mayor pro tem for the City of Henrietta, and Bloodworth will meet with County Judge Kenneth Liggett, a commissioner and Lemons to review the law enforcement contract. A date for the meeting has not been determined.

The county-city contract was put in place in 1989 at a cost of $115,000 per year, a cost to the city that has more than tripled to $350,000 today.

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Pioneer Sentinel

The Pioneer Sentinel is an online newspaper designed to deliver the news of Clay County, Texas, in a concise and community-friendly format.

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