The Texas County Justice Center Credit: FILE PHOTO

Members of the Texas County Commission were ordered last week to Texas County Circuit Court to explain why they defied orders by the presiding judge of the 25th Circuit Court to pay for a telephone system.

The matter is now resolved and the bill paid.

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

The cost was $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 seeing “spam calls” displayed on their phone device. 
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.

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

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2 Comments

  1. So why didn’t they pay the bill, didn’t they say? Where’s the rest of the story? Curious people wanna know? Where’s Paul Harvey when you need him?

  2. This is odd, the Judiciary doesn’t have authority to order the elected representatives to accept bids and install stuff. I don’t know the exact details, but the way the story reads the judge wasn’t happy with the phone service so he ordered it to be paid in full and have another company take over… sorry but that order should be appealed (unless there are mitigating factors we don’t know about). If the supreme court can’t force congress to give it security then certainly a judge cant legally compel elected officials to change phone service on a whim (again that presumes there are no details that the judge is ruling over an actual dispute between two parties brought before the court…)

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