The Wharton County Commissioners Court unanimously approved not to pay Judge Ben Hardin’s supplement for juvenile board for the last four months of 2019.

During the regular Monday, Oct. 14 meeting, no monetary amount was mentioned as it affects this supplement.

This is the first time that the county has decided not to pay for a newly-organized 23rd District Court since the county began to pay 53 percent of operational cost on Sept. 1.

Last month, the Commissioners Court granted a request from Hardin to have his 23rd District Court reporter and coordinator to be exempt from filling out time sheets. It means they would not be required to turn in time sheets like most employees with Wharton County do.

Judge Phillip Spenrath said Matagorda County Commissioners Court approved a similar action item to disallow these two same employees from having to sign time sheets. It was part of a new operational procedure since the two counties began sharing a much bigger expense of the 23rd District Court that began in September.

Based on their population, Wharton County will pay 53 percent of 23rd District operational costs and Matagorda 47 percent.

It had been 10 percent (or $12,807) when Brazoria County footed the bill before Sept. 1.

Now Wharton County has budgeted $245,000 for the Fiscal year 2019-20 budget.

Spenrath said Wharton County was “forced” to make this change when the 86th Legislature passed an omnibus bill, giving little time for Matagorda County officials to react as well. 

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