County officials pass blame for notice failure

Former Justice of the Peace Steve Ward created something of a quagmire on Monday when he accused the Union County Quorum Court of meeting illegally on Jan. 1 to set the 2013 monthly meeting time and date.

Ward, who lost by 22 votes in his bid to retain the JP District 1 position, stood on state law which requires each county’s judge to give written notice of the first meeting of the year, which is not to be held on a holiday.

Loftin failed on both counts, Ward said.

Although Union County officials acknowledged a break down in the system by not providing notice to the public, they switched the blame from one another in where the failure occurred.

Loftin said the responsibility should have fallen to Union County Clerk Shannon Phillips, who was in charge of organizing the swearing in ceremony and, therefore, the quorum court meeting.

Phillips, however, pointed to Administrative Assistance Paula Beard, who traditionally issues notice of all county meetings to the public.

Beard, on the other hand, passed blame back to Phillips, stating in 2010 she gave that responsibility back to the county clerk.

More in tomorrow’s News-Times.

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