By BARBARA GREEN
County budget hearings often get heated, but Monday the debate got heated as questioning became a bit personal as one commissioner challenged the district attorney what is being done in her office.
This was the second budget workshop for Montague County Commissioners as they begin hearing from elected officials and department heads on their 2018-19 budget requests. Discussions included an expensive proposal to begin digitizing county clerk and district clerk records, pay increases in the DA and county clerk’s offices and retaining an attorney to update county subdivision rules.
District Attorney Casey Polhemus opened by telling the court there were no “big” changes in her budget, but she would like to supplement the staff salaries with funds that were budgeted for the assistant DA two position, which was not filled last October when Ron Poole retired.
She proposed reassessing that funding to supplement the staff for the additional workload taking $10,000 of that $17,000 allotted for the ADA2 into AD Clay Riddle, then $3,650 to the DA investigator and then $2,000 each to the two administrative staff members. She also discussed how the forfeiture funds were being used.
Commissioner Roy Darden asked Polhemus how many cases she had tried since taking office. She said two last year and two this year. Darden then proceeded to challenge the DA telling her people are “looking at your office and what to know when you are going to try cases,” and why you are giving things away.
The DA appeared surprised at the questioning and exclaimed she is “not giving anything away,” and had been working very hard.
Read the full story in the mid-week News.