Message from the magistrates

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By The Staff

To the people of Owen County,

With the embarrassing state of affairs our county is facing, we the Owen County Magistrates would like to address a few things so everyone knows in what order we found them out.

July 28, 2008 – The judge informed us that three problems were found in the 2006/07 audit

July 29, 2008 – We requested payroll reports at all fiscal court meetings.

September 23, 2008 – The grand jury informed each of us that there are in fact 11 problems, and that the judge on May 8, 2008 signed the exit audit report, then declined to share this information with us. In this report it says the magistrates should not receive a lump sum of $300 per month for travel expense without being on committees. Again the judge chose not to share this information. So in July, August, and September 2008 we received $300 for our travel expense. Had this information been shared with us, we would not have accepted it. We will pay this back because it was paid under false pretense.

About a week or two before the September meeting the judge called and asked us to serve on different committees. Everyone agreed.

September 23, 2008 – we were told these committees were incorrect. They are not registered in the County Clerk’s Office.

January 2007 – At our first meeting, the Office of Retirement informed us to keep records of our time and to keep them in case there was ever a question. All four magistrates took their records with them to the grand jury. These should have and will be turned in monthly. The question of insurance – Owen County Administrative Code 310.4 says county employees and officials are entitled to full benefits: retirement, Social Security, Workman’s Comp and Health Insurance –officials cannot collect unemployment. This is not a new practice but one that’s been in effect for years.

We hope this answers questions on your magistrates. We were just not given the correct or all information due us from the county judge.

Teresa Kemper Davis, Magistrate 3rd District, 514-2622

Bobby Gaines, Magistrate 2nd District, 484-2132

Ray Smith, Magistrate 4th District, 484-5339

Jerry Jones, Magistrate 1st District, 484-2284