An error from the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office will result in the District Attorney’s Office, and taxpayers, losing out on $160,000 in federal grant money.
That comes because of a crime reporting error from the Sheriff’s Office, in which the numbers were not reported to the state in 2019 or 2020. That is a mistake which will cause the DA’s office to miss out on a grant that funds two important positions at the DA’s office, an crime victim’s investigator and crime victim’s liaison, according to District Attorney Andria Bender, during the last meeting of Commissioner’s court.
“In this most recent period, we have had, as of September 2020, we have serviced 339 new victims in Grimes County. We average 43 new victims every quarter…I will tell you some of the things that have gone on early this year, I would anticipate those numbers will continue to rise. We have, over the five year period, 860 victims have been helped by these two, along with our victim’s assistance coordinator,” said Bender.
In order to keep the two positions, the county has pledged to fund them with reserves from the county’s FUND balance, which they say will not affect the budget plans for 2021.
County Judge Joe Fauth said that they never had any intention of letting them lose those two positions. But, he also shared his frustration with the amount of confusion that ensued, without putting the blame on anyone.
“I never heard anything, from anybody, whether they are supposed to notify my office or not. I don’t believe the auditor’s office got any notification that there was a deadline coming up. I don’t know if the DA’s office got any notification I know the Sheriff’s Office did not get any notification. So, I am going to suggest that, somewhere, there’s a disconnect,” Fauth said.
He added there will be new procedures put in place to avoid this mix up from happening again.
Chief todd Green, from the Grimes County Sheriff’s Office, was at the meeting, and did say that a change in staff may have led to some confusion on who was responsible for the paperwork.
The county says they still have an outside shot at attaining the grant money, but it is very unlikely.