Our story on financial disclosure by Sheriff still accurate as reported

 

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County Commissioner Kelly Snell was a lone holdout in the policy change in financial disclosure requirements for County officers

Close checking shows that a previous story about the lack of requirement for the McLennan Sheriff to file a financial disclosure statement by April of each year is accurate despite protests from McLennan Citizens for Good Government.

On May 26, 2016 the Commissioners Court ordered only Justices of the Peace, County Commissioners and County Judge Scott Felton to file such disclosure statements, and directed department heads who work directly under the supervision of the Court to file affidavits of actual or potential financial conflicts of interest by adopting Subchapter A of Section 159 of the Texas Local Government Code.

Subchapter B provides that the Court may require the Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, District Clerk and County Clerk to make the filings. They were thereby exempted from the new policy, which amended a previous order from 2012.

In that order, everyone with supervisory responsibilities were required to make financial disclosures because of the criminal prosecution of a Constitutional Officers for fraudulent financial dealings in his office.

County Judge Scott Felton determined that the requirement of filing a financial statement is an invasion of the privacy of persons who do not necessarily have the responsibility of such decisions, but recommended that requiring them to file an affidavit disclosing conflict of interest is much more practical.

After extensive discussion spread over two successive sessions of Commissioners Court, they adopted the policy that is current.

By listening to the audio recording, one may see that Commissioner Kelly Snell was the only one who opposed the change in policy, the vote being 4 to 1 in favor.

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