Ken Paxton

Cumulative Subject Index
AG Opinions 1990-Present

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A commissioners court that acts to remove a proposed raise from the budget at the final budget hearing without giving additional notice to county officers and without giving the elected officials a chance to seek redress from the salary grievance committee acts contrary to the requirements of chapter 152 of the Local Gov't CodeGA-0929
A person appointed to serve as a volunteer assistant fire marshal is not, as an automatic consequence of the appointment, a reserve law enforcement officerGA-0853
Additional staff - if the 105th District Court determines it needs additional staff to aid in the exercise of its judicial functions, Court may rely on Government Code section 74.103 and inherent power to appoint necessary personnel other than a bailiff.GA-1032
Bailiff position, the Legislature has not authorized the creation of an additional bailiff position for the 105th District Court.GA-1032
Brazos County Juvenile Probation Department employees, allocation of hiring and firing authority between juvenile board and chief juvenile probation officerDM-0079
Close office for official day of mourning honoring former president and give employee the day off, authority of county official toGA-0303
Close office to allow employees time off for reason unrelated to bad weather, repairs, and the like, official may do so providing that closure does not violate article III, section 52 of the Texas ConstitutionJC-0239
Closure of office for bad weather, repairs, and the like, whether county official may authorizeJC-0131
Collective bargaining, deputy sheriffs are entitled to organize and collectively bargain under Local Government Code chapter 174, The Fire and Police Employee Relations ActGA-0238
Commissioned peace officers who are employees of the state or of a political subdivision of the state who are also employed off-duty as private security officers do not violate acceptance of honoraria prohibition in section 36.07 of Penal CodeGA-0256
Computer system, county board appointed by commissioners court to manage county computer system may not authorize private users to access computer records of elected county officialsJM-1224
Computer system, county board appointed by commissioners court to manage county computer system may not deprive elected county officers of their statutory authority to control and manage information created by their offices, including information stored iJM-1224
Continued employment, road department employees in county of fewer than 200,000 in population which changes road administration system to ex officio commissioner system have no legally enforceable expectation ofLO97-021
County Attorney, Commissioners Court authority to prohibit animals in a county courthouse that includes the offices of the county attorneyGA-1018
County attorneys may use county-paid employees to perform private work in county attorney's private practice of law provided county commissioners court has approved the practice prior to the time attorney renders services to countyLO93-051
County commissioner's and auditor's concurrent service, chapter 171 of Local Government Code does not prohibit merely because they are marriedLO93-008
Court reporter is not an officer for purposes of article XVI, section 61 of Texas ConstitutionGA-0155
De facto status of elected officer who did not file signed oath of office statementLO96-056
Deputy county clerk is an employee, not an officerJC-0029
Discharge of at-will sheriff's personnel for political views or activities opposed to sheriff, impermissible unless activities disrupt officeLO96-139
District court reporter, county has no authority to influence or direct the employment ofGA-1023
District court reporter, district judge who appoints an official district court reporter has the sole authority to terminateGA-1023
District court reporter, employment status of, is context-specific and cannot be determined for all purposesGA-1023
District judge's appointment of spouse of one of county commissioners to serve as county auditor does not violate nepotism lawLO93-008
Employment policy, adopted by the county commissioners court, that prohibits the rehire of an individual whose employment relationship with the county terminated within one year of the proposed rehiring does not apply to an appointment by the constableGA-0656
Freeze vacant positions in elected county officer's office unless officer fills position by promoting existing county employee or obtains commissioners court's special permission, commissioners court may notGA-0037
Grievance, discipline, and evaluation proceedings, employee subject to has right to open meeting but no right to insist upon closed meetingJM-1191
Legislator is not prohibited from employing local public officialsLO98-039
Liability of justice of the peace's employee for shortage of collectionsDM-0324
Longevity pay - Provided any longevity pay is prospective to the adoption of the longevity policy, a court would likely conclude that a county's longevity pay policy for county officials may include the prior service of the individual as a county employeeKP-135
Office hours, county clerk may not alter without approval of county courtJC-0323
Payment to settle lawsuit against former county sheriff and deputies, authority of commissioners court to order where county is paying costs of defenseLO98-103
Payroll preparation duties, commissioners court may assign to county director of personnelLO98-013
Performance bonus based on achievement of preset performance goals, commissioners court may not pay to elected county officialsGA-0661
Professional association, whether county official may use county postage meter for campaign for office inLO97-077
Proposed salary increases, county and precinct officers here are not entitled to theGA-0929
Records management officer: elected county officer manages his or her own records; commissioners court appoints records management officer for nonelective officersLO90-062
Removal of county officers by district judge after a trialDM-0114
Reserve law enforcement officers, a county commissioners court and county fire marshal lack authority to commission or appoint volunteer assistant fire marshals asGA-0853
Rural fire prevention district board, whether a member is a "county officer" who must reside in county where district is locatedLO95-016
Term of office established by Texas Constitution may not be shortened by legislatureJC-0519
Texas Constitution article 16, section 40(b), a state employee is not prohibited from assuming elected county office underGA-1026
Texas statutes, a state employee is not prohibited from becoming a candidate for elective office underGA-1026
The federal Hatch Act - a state employee is prohibited from becoming a candidate for elective office if the salary of the employee is paid completely by federal funds underGA-1026
Veterans County Service Office, officer should have office separate from other county departments and officialsLO96-127
Veterans county service officer, non-veteran of the armed forces not eligible to be appointed asJC-0151
Visiting statutory county court judge not barred from simultaneously serving as county director of Judicial Support ServicesGA-0840
Volunteer assistant fire marshal, the statutory definition of "reserve law enforcement officer" does not include aGA-0853
Civil Service
Back pay, county civil-service commission or sheriff's department civil-service commission may adopt rule permitting award of back pay in certain circumstancesJC-0529
Classification of person as civil service "employee" (Affirmed by Tex. Att'y Gen. LO-97-016)DM-0385
Community supervision and corrections department employees, county may not include in its expanded civil service systemJC-0254
County attorney's personnel are terminable at will despite civil service rule including them in civil service systemLO96-100
Deputy constable, county may include as employee covered by civil service systemLO97-016
Disciplinary procedures applicable to sheriff's department employees covered by county civil service system under chapter 158, subchapter A of the Local Government CodeJC-0334
Expanded system, inclusion of deputy sheriffs and deputy constables inDM-0338
Investigator appointed by county probate judge is covered by the Tarrant County civil service systemGA-0824
Military leave of absence, authority of civil service commission, when a police officer or fire fighter returns from a military leave of absence, to demote officers who had advanced in rank because of the military leave of absenceGA-0325
Provisions of the Hidalgo County civil service plan, Hidalgo County deputy district clerks are not subject to the plan and the Commissioners Court cannot amend the civil service plan to include deputy district clerksGA-0243
Sheriff's office employee's eligibility to participate in county civil service systemLO92-048
Subpoena power, commission's authority to adoptDM-0338
Commissioner/County Judge
Commissioners court may not delegate its approval authority of payroll, claims, and other payments to county treasurerKP-160
Pursuant to Local Government Code subsection 81.005(h), a county commissioners court may change the designated day of the week it convenes during the county's current fiscal yearGA-1001
Compensation and Benefits
Accrued vacation and compensatory time, sheriff's deputies may not receive payment for time that accrued when county did not provide for such paymentJC-0370
Authority of county commissioners court to adopt a policy to automatically reduce the salary of employees and officersKP-052
Because the initial determination of whether a public expenditure to a justice of the peace who refuses to perform his duties upon resignation is gratuitous belongs to the commissioners court, we cannot conclude as a matter of law that the officer in these circumstances is entitled to salary, expenses, allowances, and other benefits provided by the county.KP-007
Benefits under chapter 615 of the Government Code, we will not speculate on the meaning a court would give to the phrase "continued health insurance benefits" given the latent ambiguity in section 615.073 and the circumstances by which a surviving spouse becomes eligible forGA-0822
Car allowance, district judge who appoints county auditor may include in auditor's salaryLO95-038
Ceiling, statute sets ceiling on salary of county court at law judgeLO90-079
Child support office, juvenile board in Orange County is authorized by statute to set salaries of employees ofJM-1150
Closure of office for bad weather, repairs, and the like, county officers may authorize and pay employees for time they were unable to workJC-0131
Commissioner's individual employees, authority of commissioners court to reduce salaries absent a written policyLO95-053
Constable, authority of commissioners court to set reasonable salary forJC-0389
County community supervision and corrections department not required to establish exit incentive program equal to county programLO97-090
County court at law judges, compensation of in counties collecting court costs and fees under section 51.702 of the Government CodeJC-0159
County fire marshal and safety coordinator positions - Commissioners court may not fund the salary of those positions through revenue generated by a sales and use tax imposed pursuant to Tax Code chapter 324KP-162
County law enforcement official injured in course of official duties, county may not reduce constitutional salary payment due to employee's tax statusLO93-062
County retirees' health insurance premiums, county may not agree to pay unless authorized by state law and consistent with article III, section 53 of the Texas ConstitutionJC-0297
Deduction from salary or withholding of salary warrants not authorized from justice of the peace's employee for shortage of collectionsDM-0324
Discretion to provide medical insurance for juvenile board, county commissioners haveGA-0715
Discretionary authority to establish, increase, decrease, or eliminate the compensation paid to the judges serving on a juvenile board, a commissioner court has under section 152.0034(b) of the Human Resources CodeGA-0799
District and county clerks, commissioners court may not reduce salaries except during regular budget sessionLO94-082
Eligibility for county medical insurance, juvenile board membersGA-0715
Emergency overtime under subsection 157.021(b)(1) from an officerís budgeted allowances, County commissioners court may not without consent presume to deduct theGA-0857
Garnishment of wages to collect guaranteed student loansDM-0419
Gifts for county employees, county courthouse vending machine surcharge proceeds may be used to purchase in certain circumstancesLO96-136
Health insurance coverage, county may not pay $200 per month to employee who chooses to foregoLO92-085
Health insurance premiums and matching retirement system contributions, whether county commissioner removed from office for felony conviction overturned on appeal is entitled to compensation forLO93-068
Health insurance, county is not required to provide it to part-time constableJC-0414
Health wellness plan with increased insurance premium for tobacco usersKP-187
Justice of the peace is not a county employee and salary and other compensation is set by the commissioners courtGA-0569
Juvenile board members have no authority to set their own salaries without commissioners court's approvalDM-0103
Lifetime service credit, accrual of by assistant prosecutor dependent only on length of service, not continuity or locationJC-0473
Longevity pay for assistant prosecutors, credit towards is not accrued for employment as an assistant prosecutor by a state other than TexasGA-0312
Longevity pay for county employeesLO96-007
Longevity pay, a commissioners court order granting, to certain qualified employees and allowing employees to transfer the longevity pay to another county department if they are hired there, does not continue in effect for an individual who later becomes a county officerKP-060
Longevity pay, an assistant prosecutor's prior service as an elected district attorney, criminal district attorney, or county attorney who performed the duties of a district attorney does not qualify as lifetime service creditGA-0096
Longevity pay, court may set rate for sheriff prospectivelyJC-0026
Medical coverage for agricultural and home extension agents, authority of county to provideDM-0337
Medical coverage provided by county to employees through single-employer, self-funded plan subject to certain Insurance Code provisions but not to Federal Employee Retirement Income Security ActDM-0276
Medical insurance, included within the term "compensation"GA-0715
Member of county salary grievance committee not barred from voting on own salary grievance by conflict of interest statuteLO98-097
Method of timekeeping used by county employees, Commissioners court exercising its authority under Local Government Code subsection 157.021(a) to establish a 40-hourGA-0857
Non-elected officials and employees, commissioners court may reduce salaries at any timeLO94-082
Notice of approved salary and personal expenses, county commissioners court is not precluded from faxing to elected officers as a matter of lawJC-0471
Notice to elected officers of proposed salary and expenses for upcoming fiscal year, commissioners court must provide after it receives proposed budget from county judge so long as time is sufficient to allow aggrieved officer to file grievance and to havGA-0051
Official court reporters employed in Denton County Courts at Law, the Commissioners Court of Denton County has authority to set compensation ofDM-0128
Payroll deductions for membership dues to employees associations, employees not entitled toJC-0369
Payroll deductions, county may only make those deductions authorized by statuteLO90-080
Political subdivision of state required to provide workers' compensation coverage for employeesDM-0180
Prior Service - Provided any longevity pay is prospective to the adoption of the longevity policy, a court would likely conclude that a county's longevity pay policy for county officials may include the prior service of the individual as a county employeeKP-135
Retired county employee's health insurance premiums, county may not pay if, at time person retired, the county did not provide for payment of such premiums; county may not seek reimbursement of unconstitutionally paid premiumsJC-0383
Retired county employee, county may invite to participate in county's group health insurance program if retiree pay premiums under chapter 175 of Local Government CodeJC-0383
Retroactive compensation, Texas Constitution does not prohibit commissioners court from approving payment of back wages to which employee was automatically entitledLO93-057
Retroactive purchase of accrued sick leave or change in rate of vacation time accrued prohibited under Texas ConstitutionLO90-080
Salaries of county official's employees, authority to set belongs to courtLO90-040
Salaries of elected county officials, procedure for settingLO95-018
Salaries, county probably may not pay in advance of services being renderedJC-0080
Salaries, district judges may increase salaries of county auditor and assistant county auditors even though county budget year has already begunJC-0361
Salary grievance committee may not consider aggrieved elected county officer's complaint after start of fiscal yearDM-0405
Salary grievance committee, public members of hold over in office when no grand jury convened in county during past yearLO96-067
Salary grievance hearing, elected officer is entitled to have five days after actually receiving written notice of approved salary and personal expensesJC-0471
Salary grievance, a county officer who does not challenge the officer's proposed salary in accordance with the procedure and deadline specified by subsection 152.016(a) of the Local Government Code in any given year has effectively waived any, for the upcoming fiscal yearKP-060
Salary increases for elected officers, special statutory notice must apprise public of maximum potential salary increasesJC-0255
Salary increases for officers and employees do not become effective until new budget is adopted by commissioners court, even if budget is not adopted until after start of new fiscal yearJC-0147
Salary increases for selected employees, whether commissioners court may grant without amending county budgetJM-1268
Salary of county employees, county commissioners court sets when it adopts the county budgetGA-0322
Salary payments from employees for the time period the employees were dismissed by an officerís declaring an emergency under subsection 157.021(b)(1), Local Government Code, if such an action prevents an elected officer from performing his or her core duties, a county commissioners court may be precluded from seeking to recoupGA-0857
Salary warrants may be issued for county officers and employees delinquent in ad valorem tax obligationsJM-1193
Sick leave not used by county employee, commissioners court may implement policy authorizing annual "buy back" ofLO98-099
Sick leave pool, commissioners court may not create absent express statutory authorityJM-1160
Sick leave, commissioners court may not grant additional leave to employee who has exhausted sick leave unless authorized by preexisting policyJM-1160
Sick-leave pool, employee may contribute unvested sick-leave timeJC-0427
Sick-leave pool, value of sick-leave time is transferred with sick leave to and fromJC-0427
Special statutory notice, publication of required prior to salary increase for county and precinct officersLO94-004
State supplement to county judge's salary if at least 40 percent of functions he performs are judicial functionsGA-0426
Supplemental workers' compensation, order limiting may not be applied to county employees injured prior to adoptionDM-0213
Transfer of funds from one item in county budget to another to make payments with respect to county judge's state salary supplementGA-0426
Unused vacation time, county employee who resigns before anniversary date may not be credited or compensated with unused vacation time where county's personnel policy provides that employee's unused vacation time is credited on the anniversary of the emplJC-0123
Warrant may not be drawn on county fund in favor of justice of the peace against whom judgment for delinquent county property taxes has been entered until debt is paidJC-0087
Withhold partial salaries and benefits of county employees working less than the required established workweek, so long as it does not preclude an independent, elected officer from fulfilling his or her core functions, a county commissioners court exercising its authority under subsection 157.021(a), Local Government Code, mayGA-0857
Without discretion to withhold the payment of unbudgeted overtime, under subsection 157.021(b)(1), Local Government Code, when an emergency has been declared by a county or district officer, a county commissioners court isGA-0857
Expenses and Reimbursement
Attorney to defend sheriff in criminal prosecution where county's interest is at stake, commissioners court may employ, but may not reimburse sheriff for fees after he has incurred them (Overruled to extent inconsistent with Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. DM-48LO97-065
Attorney's fees of county commissioners investigated for violation of the Texas Open Meetings ActKP-016
Conference registration fees and lodging expenses, county constitutionally may pay official's or employee's if commissioners court determines that the expenditure will serve a public purpose and attaches sufficient conditions to the expenditureJC-0080
Election contest, county may not reimburse sheriff for legal fees incurred in defendingDM-0431
Grievance regarding "auto allowance" not based on actual expenses, salary grievance committee not authorized to hearLO94-034
Legal fees of officer or employee, county may not reimburse after officer or employee hired and paid a private attorney to represent him or her in litigation involving performance of official duties (Overruled to extent inconsistent with Tex. Att'y Gen. LO90-093
Notice to elected officers of proposed salary and expenses for upcoming fiscal year, commissioners court must provide after it receives proposed budget from county judge so long as time is sufficient to allow aggrieved officer to file grievance and to haveGA-0051
Official court reporter for multi-county district court, reimbursement for expenses of performing official duties in reporterís county of residence and in other counties Court reporter for district court is not an employee within Local Government Code section 152.011GA-0700
Scope of Local Government Code section 157.901 concerning county's duty to provide legal representation of county officers and employeesKP-031
Travel allowance of county auditor, commissioners court may not premise payment of on documentationLO96-065
Travel allowance, gasoline, and automotive repair, authority of county officers to receive from county fundsLO96-028
Travel expenses of forensic pathologist applicant, county commissioners court's authority to use county funds to payDM-0317
Under the common law, a county commissioners court has discretion to reimburse legal expenses incurred by a county commissioner in the defense of a criminal matter which results in a finding of not guilty if the prosecution was for actions that were within scope of official duties and defense is primarily for a county purpose and not a personal interest.KP-037
Concurrent service of juvenile probation officer and school district trusteeGA-1083
Commissioners court may not delegate its approval authority of payroll, claims, and other payments to county treasurerKP-160