GALVESTON — The incoming judge for the 212th District Court will work as a consultant for the county for the next several months to analyze “existing operating processes and policies” in the county’s criminal justice system and to recommend ways to cut costs and improve efficiency.

Patricia Grady, who won the Republican nomination for the judicial seat in a runoff election in May and will run unopposed in November, will receive $2,100 a week for her consulting services for the county, according to a memorandum of understanding signed last week.

The terms of the agreement run from July 8 to Sept. 30, but can be ended early, according to the memorandum.

Grady declined to comment, citing a confidentiality agreement in the memorandum of understanding.

Grady will follow up on work done by an independent firm hired by the county to examine every aspect of the local criminal justice system, including arrests, incarceration at the county jail and criminal prosecution, County Judge Mark Henry said.

Griffith, Moseley, Johnson and Associates were brought on as consultants to evaluate the criminal justice system last October and were paid about $10,000 a month, Henry said. 

The firm was paid about $70,000 and issued a 67-page preliminary report to county commissioners in April, Henry said.

The county is looking into methods to save money and increase efficiency in the criminal justice system, Henry said.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Grady was qualified to build on the analysis in the preliminary report because of her experience as a policy and legal adviser with the county.

Grady’s campaign for the 212th Judicial District Court is also cited as a factor in the memorandum, as it allowed her to become “acquainted with current issues concerning the operation of the Galveston County Justice System.”

She will be tasked with reviewing every aspect of the county’s criminal justice system and will identify potential cost savings as well as ways to increase the collection of fines and fees.

The preliminary report issued by Griffith, Moseley, Johnson and Associates compares Galveston County to four other counties, including Brazoria and Montgomery counties.

John Johnson, vice president and general counsel at the firm, said the report was prepared through interviews with judges, local police and county law enforcement officials, prosecutors and court coordinators. The report examines nearly every aspect of the local criminal justice system.

The firm also looked at jail population trends, case processing and operations at the county jail, district court, county court and specialty courts, as well as other local and statewide data, Johnson said.

The report includes 24 recommendations to improve efficiency in the county’s criminal justice system on topics ranging from the different computer systems used by law enforcement agencies and courts to delays in evidence testing.

Among other things, the report examines the pace at which cases are disposed, inmate medical services and specialty courts, such as the drug court and veteran’s court.

Johnson said operating a criminal justice system typically consumes the largest part of a county’s yearly budget, and increasing efficiency in that system can save taxpayers millions of dollars.

He credited Galveston County Commissioners for bringing on consultants to analyze efficiency and ways to cut costs in the criminal justice system. 

Contact reporter Alex Macon at 409-683-5241 or alex.macon@galvnews.com.

(15) comments

Miss Priss

Maybe ... It's called the inner circle trying to help Grady pay off campaign debts.

They hire a law firm to make recommendations to cuts in the criminal justice center? I heard rumors that the commissioners were looking into too much upper management fat at the sheriff's office.

Robert Young

Texas Nepotism Laws Made Easy
2012 Texas Nepotism Laws Made Easy • Office of the Attorney General

17. Do the nepotism laws apply to the appointment or hiring of an
independent contractor by the governing body if the contractor is a close
relative of an official?
Yes. The nepotism laws prohibit the appointment or hiring of an independent contractor by the governing body if the contractor is a close relative of one of the members of the governing body.

Nonetheless, the nepotism prohibition would not prohibit the governing body from executing a contract with a corporation that employs the close relative unless the corporation is in actuality the “alter ego” of an individual who is closely related to an official.

Boy this new Judical marriage team known as the "Grady bunch" and the County Judge have some nerve don't they! she takes a job to examing "Existing policies and procedures" Why in the wide world of sports would you hire someone who has not served one day yet at the Galveston courthouse? Why didn't Judge Henry just ask for suggestions from the serving judges, the ones with experiance?

The Grady's know better as they went to law school and took ethics classes, Judge Henry did not,, so don't be to hard on him. If he had went to law school he also might have remembered this;

Chapter 39 of the Texas Penal Code prohibits a public servant from using government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to
the government to obtain a benefit or to harm or defraud another.,

Walter Manuel

Maybe it's just me, but it would seem with Patricia Grady's experience as a lawyer and having witnessed first hand through her own actual court experiences, she very well may be able to further dissect and help improve the efficiency of the court system in Galveston county?

My guess is that nepotism laws were heavily discussed and considered before the county commissioners final decision was made to award Patricia Grady this contract?

I have full confidence that Patricia Grady will honestly earn every penny of our tax dollars for which she is being paid and her attention to details will ultimately benefit many people throughout Galveston county. [wink]

Judy Foster

The lawfirm was fired in Oct. I'm betting the commissioner's have never seen the report, therefore they have never acted on the report that cost taxpayers $$$$$. This is just a way for Grady to pay off her campaign debt. Look for commissioner's court to start getting rid of upper mgmt. in sheriff's dept and tax office, so they can build their country club of friends in our county gov't.

Ron Shelby

The court could try, but if the Sheriff isn't in agreement, at some point he could elect to sue the court for failing to provide the resources to perform his constitutional duties. We've seen that scenario play out many times.

Walter Manuel


"The firm was paid about $70,000 and issued a 67-page preliminary report to county commissioners in April, Henry said.

According to the memorandum of understanding, Grady was qualified to build on the analysis in the preliminary report because of her experience as a policy and legal adviser with the county".

I don't understand the major concern regarding Mrs. Grady being given the contract in order to "pay off campaign debts", when I'm sure most political candidates have this same issue to deal with after running a campaign and they too have to work in order to responsibly pay off this sort of debt?[smile]

Judy Foster

MissionaryMan, Your comment does not deserve a response,

George Croix

Maybe she should have simply asked the citizens to donate to a personal fund to help pay off debts...like the Clintons did... [smile]

Walter Manuel

Judy0313, obviously it did deserve some sort of response since you responded, I must have hit a nerve somewhere along the way....[wink]

LJ ODom

What a mess.

Robert Young

It is a mess Cheerio,,I think the taxpayers are tired of being used by this RINO, It is fair to say Judge Henry now not only has his hands in the taxpayers cookie jar but now has allowed his friends a grab in it too!.

The Sheriff could have used that money for hiring!

Now we have four more years of this guy? We gonna be understaffed AND have run outta cookies!

Ron Shelby

Annualized and compared to a county employee, that's a salary of $109,200 a year. How much are commissioners, the tax assessor, sheriff and others currently making? Just putting it into some sort of perspective.

Ron Shelby

This contract goes through sept 30th. That's the end of the fiscal year. Will it show up renewed in the budget starting Oct 1, until she takes office? Disconcerting.

Robert Young

Was there a bid process..The other candidates would have liked a fair shot at this I'm sure.

Ron Shelby

FYI, it's a professional services contract, which in most cases is available through a public information request. You may even find that it has an evergreen clause.

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