Erath County treasurer to remain in office pending judge's conditions

E-T staff report

Erath County Treasurer Kimberly Barrier will remain in office for now after a judge's ruling earlier this week.

Barrier

District Judge Stephen Ellis from Brownwood heard testimony over several days concerning a filing by Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos claiming that Barrier was incompetent in the role of county treasurer.

Campos' filing reportedly claimed Barrier has not been properly reconciling bank accounts or paying benefits for employees on time, among other financial duties expected of the county treasurer.

According to reports, Campos filed the original motion for removal in May.

Erath County Judge Alfonso Campos

At Monday's hearing, Ellis reportedly delayed an order in the case until Oct. 1 and added that Barrier would be allowed to continue serving as Erath County treasurer providing two conditions are met.

Ellis' first condition is that Barrier and Campos meet in person along with another county commissioner, county auditor, county attorney and attorneys from both sides by July 31 to work out all issues.

The second condition was for Barrier to perform all of her main duties in a timely manner including managing bank accounts, insurance billings, investments and delinquent payments authorized by the commissioners court.

According to Texas law governing the removal of an elected county official, "officers may be removed only following a trial by jury. The district judge may temporarily suspend the officer and appoint another person to perform the duties of the office pending trial. If convicted, the officer may appeal the removal to a court of appeals."

The law further states that grounds for removal include incompetence; official misconduct; intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage (unless prescribed by a physician); or, for those county officials required by law to give an official bond, the failure to execute the bond within the prescribed time or the failure to give a new or additional bond as required by law.