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Commissioners Court Ends Year-Long Dispute

Galveston County Commissioners Court passed budget amendments Tuesday that filled administrative positions and ended a year-long dispute regarding court administrative staff.

The action came in response to direction received in a Sept. 18 notice signed by all judges, selecting five current county employees to provide administrative support to the courts within their current titles and salaries.

Commissioners Court approved the budget amendment at the request of the judges and placed the positions under their collective control as authorized by state statute. A new law, which authorizes collective court administrative staff for district and statutory county courts, called a Court Administrator System, went into effect Sept. 1. The staff changes are effective immediately.

“I’m glad we were able to resolve this issue by assigning staff to the judges collectively and giving them everything they’ve asked for,” Commissioner Ken Clark said.

Last year, the judges disputed control of the Justice Administration Department which was abolished to clear the way for commissioners to establish this new system under the new law this summer. The five positions will continue providing administrative functions at the direction of the district and statutory county courts.

“Our actions today are a welcome end,” County Judge Mark Henry said. “Perhaps we can now spend more time on the jobs the tax payers elected us to do. It’s time to move on.”

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