Patricia Grady, 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. She will receive $2,100 a week.
In October 2013, the Galveston County Commissioners Court hired professional consulting firm Griffin, Moseley, Johnson & Associates to assess the county criminal justice system and make recommendations for improvements.
A team of five professionals with criminal justice experience totaling 125 years completed a comprehensive 50-page report that cost county taxpayers $70,000.
Now the commissioners court has hired judicial candidate Patricia Grady at $2,100 per week to conduct another study on the same subject.
The commissioners court alleges Ms. Grady gained the necessary expertise while campaigning for judicial office. The truth is Ms. Grady has very little criminal justice experience as an attorney and no actual judicial experience at all.
Everyone who has held elected office knows there is a big difference between the experience one gets as a candidate and on-on-the-job experience.
Is the commissioners court fabricating the need for this study to help a favored candidate repay campaign debts with county tax dollars?
Is hiring Ms. Grady to study the criminal justice system a conflict of interest? After all, Ms. Grady’s husband is a sitting county court at law judge and County Judge Mark Henry allegedly conducts judicial duties 40 percent of the time. Can she assess her husband and the person who hired her?
Taxpayers deserve answers to all of these questions and probably more.
Jeanie Bond lives in Bacliff.