New Sheriff + Old Money Place Burden on Angelina County Taxpayers
I thought only the BIG elections were full of strife and discord, until I started poking my nose into the “comp time” abomination over at the Angelina County Sheriff’s office.
Here’s how the story unfolds:
(1) Sheriff elect Greg Sanches took over the gig from former Sheriff Kent Henson, who elected not to run for a 17th year.
(2) Excessive, but permissive comp time, was accrued by public safety personnel, and had to be paid upon the dismissals of those employees. A whole bunch of cash that Sanches was hoping to have in his budget when assuming office.
(3) According to sources, those being given pink slips, were allegedly told not to resign, but rather be terminated on January 1 of this year, so as to protect unemployment benefits – meaning that the fulfillment of sick, vacation, extra time, etc…, be paid out on the Sanches watch, instead of the Henson watch.
(4) Therefore, Sanches cannot fill high profile positions within the department until the balance sheet is zero. Well, technically he can’t. He just can’t compensate his personally selected team the bucks that were paid to its predecessors.
On the surface, it sounds like someone should man up, but you can’t discount a case of sour grapes between rivals. Some will argue that the oversight of Angelina County should have been ultimately acknowledged by Sheriff Henson himself, but the rules on the books entitling Public Safety personnel to a maximum of 480 hours comp time, were apparently not broken.
No matter which way your loyalty lies, this calamity will not magically disappear without likely jeopardizing public safety in Angelina County, and it this type of reprehensible outcome that is utterly unacceptable.