County Judge and Sheriff Fight Over Fuel Money

LIBERTY, July 11, 2012 – Yesterday item 13 on the Commissioners Court Agenda was tabled. The item from the agenda reads, “DISCUSSION AND TAKE ACTION REGARDING BUDGET AMENDMENT TO TRANSFER $160,000.00 FROM LSO CAPITAL OUTLAY LINE ITEM TO LSO FUEL LINE ITEM.”

See agenda… more

This item was placed on the Agenda by Liberty County Auditor Harold Seay out of necessity.

The issue comes up because we are near the end of the budget year and the Sheriff’s Department has run out of money in the fuel budget and needs additional funds to purchase fuel until the new budget takes effect on October 1, 2012. has obtained documents and communication between the Sheriff’s Office and the County Judge’s Office who seem to disagree about where the additional requested funds of $160,000.00 dollars should come from to cover the necessary costs for fuel.

See letter to County Judge McNair dated April 24, 2012… more

See e-mail response from McNair to the Sheriff’s Department dated May 3, 2012… more

The County Judge was made aware of the problem late in April of this year but chose not to put it on the agenda for Commissioners Court.

With only about $47,000.00 left in the fuel budget in late April of this year soon the fuel budget was almost completely depleted except for a few thousand dollars and County Auditor Harold Seay issued two Purchase Orders to enable the Sheriff’s Department to purchase the needed fuel to operate the fleet of SO vehicles.

The first Purchase Order was issued on June 4, 2012 for $18,000.00 and the second was issued on July 3, 2012 for $8,500.00. These purchases will be paid as soon as a decision is made as to which line item in the budget will be used to get the money to pay them. That was the issue that was tabled yesterday in Commissioners Court.

On Thursday, July 5, 2012, Sheriff Henry Patterson sent an e-mail to County Judge Craig McNair encouraging him to find the necessary funds to amend the Fuel Budget of the SO and to increase the Sheriff Department’s budget for fuel. Furthermore Patterson reminded McNair of previous discussions and agreements concerning the Capital Outlay line item in the SO budget and stating, “I am not in agreement to using the LCSO’s Capital Outlay funds…” to fund the need for fuel.

See e-mail dated July 5, 2012 from Patterson to McNair… more

It appears there is disagreement between Sheriff Patterson and Judge McNair in where to get the funds necessary to fund the need for the additional $160,000.00 for fuel in this budget year. In the mean time everyone just waits for Sheriff Patterson and Judge McNair to act.

See related article... What Have Patterson and McNair Done to the Liberty County Jail?

See related article... It’s Budget Time at Liberty County EDITORIAL


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