The Texas County Justice Center Credit: FILE PHOTO

Members of the Texas County Commission are ordered to appear Monday in Texas County Circuit Court to explain why they allegedly defied orders by the presiding judge of the 25th Circuit Court to pay for a telephone system.

The controversy is detailed in paperwork filed Tuesday in Texas County Circuit Court. Judge John Beger ordered them and the county treasurer to appear at a 1:30 p.m. hearing to explain why sanctions and jail time should not be imposed if Commissioners Scott Long, John Casey and Doyle Heiney don’t issue an order to Treasurer Tammy Cantrell to pay the bill.

Members of the Texas County Commission. From left: associate commissioner Doyle Heiney, presiding commissioner Scott Long and associate commissioner John Casey. Credit: HOUSTON HERALD FILE PHOTO

The cost is $5,888.

On Jan. 10, Beger ordered the commission to replace the telephone system it had installed in 2021. In court documents, Beger lists a multitude of issues with communication services that “severely diminished and degraded the services the circuit clerk renders to the public and judiciary.” Among the 11 issues highlighted were the inability to have workable facsimile lines and receivers of calls from the court seeing “spam calls” displayed on their phone device.  

Circuit Judge John Beger

Beger ordered that a system installed by Alex Roberts and Alextricity be removed by the next lowest bidder, Grennan Communications of West Plains, and a new system be put in place.

In April, Beger entered an order for the commission to pay the bill within 14 days and give instruction to Cantrell to pay it. That didn’t happen, according to court documents.

On Tuesday, Beger ordered the commission and Cantrell to court to explain why the debt has not been paid.

The Herald reached out to the commission on Tuesday, but has not yet heard back.

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