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Collin County Commissioners Court are a bunch of jerks

Unbelievable.

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

In an attempt to lay the legal groundwork to quit funding Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s prosecution, Collin County is refusing to pay a longtime local attorney for his work defending indigent clients.

On Monday, the Commissioners Court voted 3-2 to block payment to J. Matthew Goeller, a McKinney defense attorney who has provided legal services to the county for more than 20 years. The county owes him $4,831.25 for defending a poor client who was accused of sexually abusing a minor.

The commissioners aren’t refusing to pay Goeller because he didn’t do his job. They’re doing so because they hope to set the stage to refuse future payments to the three lawyers prosecuting Paxton’s felony fraud case.

The decision means Collin County taxpayers could spend tens of thousands of dollars to fight paying a man who did nothing wrong, and whose job is unrelated to the attorney general or his legal troubles, in the hopes of cutting off funding for Paxton’s prosecution.

County Judge Keith Self, who voted to block Goeller’s pay, said this is the only way to respond to taxpayers who have called on officials to appeal the cost of the Paxton prosecution, which tops six figures.

“This looks like it’s going to be one of those ironic things that we may pay more per hour for an appellate lawyer than we did for the special prosecutors,” Self told The Dallas Morning News after Monday’s vote. “Our citizens are demanding that we come to grips with [this].”

See here for the background on this. Later in the story we learn that the attorney who is being stiffed was recently in a car crash that had an effect on his memory, and he is trying to rebuild his practice. I don’t know hw the three commissioners that voted to stiff him can sleep at night, but the real prize here is Paxton himself, on whose behalf this atrocity is being committed. Seems to me that the decent Christian thing to do would be for him to ask them to give up this fight, and he’ll work with them to craft a bill that would change how special prosecutors are assigned and paid so that counties aren’t faced with this going forward. But no, it’s all about Ken Paxton, and who cares who gets hurt along the way? What a despicable bunch.

UPDATE: Apparently, public pressure got to the Court, and they have reversed their decision to stiff Goeller. They’ll try to find another case to pursue their battle against the special prosecutors.

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One Comment

  1. So true says:

    I’m an attorney who practices in Collin County. Calling the commissioners Jerks is an understatement.