Fort Bend County residents paying $100,000 in legal fees over Fort Bend County truancy lawsuit; “is it legal?”

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Fort Bend County residents paying $100,000 in legal fees over Fort Bend County truancy lawsuit; “is it legal?”

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Members of the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board were recently added to the Fort Bend County truancy lawsuit and newly obtained documents reflect the juvenile board members themselves voted on a deal to use taxpayer funds for their defense.

Is it legal for the board members to use taxpayer funds for their defense?

Minutes from the May 11, 2016 meeting of the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board reveal the board members voted unanimously to execute an engagement letter for legal representation by Rusty Hardin in an amount up to $100,000 to be paid out of the Juvenile Probation budget.

Turn your eyes to agenda item 10 on page 18: fortbendcountyjuvenileboardminutes2015-2016page-18

10. Take all appropriate action to execute engagement letter for legal representation of members of the Juvenile Board and the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in Cause No. 15-DCV-223241 in the 268th District Court, Fort Bend County, Texas.

Judge Shoemake moved to take all appropriate action to execute engagement letter for legal representation of members of the Juvenile Board and the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer in Cause No. 15-DCV-223241 in the 268th District Court, Fort Bend County, Texas. Judge Bielstein stated each member needed to sign a letter of representation from Rusty Hardin. Judge Bielstein agreed to ratify each individual letter of engagement. Judge Shoemake amended his motion to include up to $100,000 in legal fees for Rusty Hardin to be paid out of the Juvenile Probation Budget. Judge Lowery seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.”

Documents on file with the Fort Bend County District Clerk state the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board members were sued in their official capacity as board members and at no time were the juvenile board members sued in their official capacity as a judge or in their official capacity as a judicial officer on the Fort Bend County Juvenile Board.

According to the Fort Bend County website, the Juvenile Board of Fort Bend County is composed of the county judge, the district judges in Fort Bend County and the judge of each county court at law.

Exit question: Is it legal for the juvenile board members to use taxpayer funds for their defense?

1 Comment

  1. […] Judge Hebert’s annual salary is proposed to increase to $131,519. The County Judge also receives a $7200 supplement from the Fort Bend Juvenile Board. Yes—THAT board! […]

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