Criminal investigator position discussed at county meeting

At the Nolan County commissioners meeting on Monday morning, discussion was held and action was taken toward adding a criminal investigator position in the sheriff's office. The position would include salary and benefits which would be reimbursed to the county out of the sheriff's drug forfeiture fund for a particular period of time and then re-evaluated after that time. As stated by Nolan County Sheriff David Warren, a dire need has arisen to add the position, in which different options for funding were presented that would not affect tax payers. Following the end of the time period, an evaluation would take place and continued funding would be determined, which would also decide whether the position would remain. Originally set as 13 months on the agenda, Precinct 2 commissioner Terry Locklar asked if the timeframe could be changed to the 12 months in order to fall in line with the budget year. The initial dates presented by Warren were September 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014.Warren also shared that District Attorney Ann Reed would be willing to cover any expenses, as funds would be transferred to the county from another county. Additionally, county attorney Lisa Peterson noted that in regards to a budget amendment, the position would have to be created and an emergency must be declared.The commissioners then discussed the matter, although Precinct 4 commissioner Tony Lara questioned the establishment of the position. He cited consistency in his decision, in that some other departments requested additional help & were unable to receive the assistance.The only concern posed by Tommy White, commissioner for Precinct 3, was the funding after the time period expired. White wanted the clause included, in which Sheriff Warren explained that the agenda item cited that a re-evaluation would take place to determine available funding.Commissioner Terry Willman for Precinct 1 expressed that using the money from the drug forfeiture funds was appropriate in order to keep drug offenders off the streets. Additionally, Locklar said that he was informed by DA Reed that her office came to the sheriff's department about establishing the position, as crime in the county has seen an increase.Furthermore, Peterson stated that Reed was in favor of the 12 month timeframe, which would start on October 1 of this year and run through September 30, 2014. Thus, Locklar made the motion for the position to run 12 months and be re-evaluated at the end of the budget year, which was seconded by Willman.Although the measure was approved, Lara was the sole commissioner to cast his vote against the item. Thereafter, approval was given to receive the corrected pages to the proposed budget for the treasurer and sheriff payroll and benefits line items. Also regarding the DA's office, the receipt of the 32nd Judicial District Attorney's annual drug forfeiture budget for September 2013 through August 2014 was approved during the meeting.