Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Breaking News

Local News

January 4, 2014

County’s position clarified

Athens — A Tyler-based attorney who is representing Henderson County in a disagreement between a district court judge and the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office concerning health care for an inmate has clarified the county’s position.

Robert Davis of Flowers-Davis L.L.C. said in a letter that he has focused on constitutional law and government liability issues for 25 years, and was retained by Henderson County to examine orders issued by 392nd District Court Judge Carter Tarrance.

“While no one believes that Judge Tarrance meant any harm by his actions,” Davis’ letter states, “in my opinion, the Judge entered orders that breached the separation of powers in the State of Texas, and interfered with the Constitutional and Statutory duties of the Henderson County Sheriff and the Henderson County Commissioner’s Court.”

According to Davis, the unnamed inmate has been sentenced and released from the Henderson County Jail, and Sheriff Ray Nutt will not appeal Judge Tarrance’s orders in this case. 

“However, Sheriff Nutt and Henderson County will continue to monitor and review the actions of Judge Tarrance, and will take  legal action if Sheriff Nutt and Henderson County believe that Judge Tarrance is violating the Texas Constitution in the future,” Davis states.

Davis states that the Texas Government Code and Local Government Code places the responsibility for funding county jails within the authority of the county commissioner’s court. The Jail operations, including medical care of jail inmates, falls under the direction and authority of the county sheriff. In Henderson County, the county contracts with Southern Health Partners to provide inmate health care services to inmates housed in the Henderson County Jail.

Davis explained that the issue concerns an inmate who appeared at a bond reduction hearing to which neither Henderson County, nor Nutt were parties. The inmate in question was seen, monitored and or treated by Southern Partners on 96 occasions during the 25 days he was in custody.

“The inmate, in my opinion, received all necessary and reasonable care required,” Davis said.

Davis states that under Sheriff Ray Nutt and the current Henderson County Commissioner’s Court, no inmate has ever successfully claimed that they were denied reasonable health care. In fact, inmates can file a lawsuit, without any cost to themselves, in federal or state court, if they believe that they are not receiving reasonable medical care. Pro se lawsuits of this nature are filed against Texas counties frequently.

Under Sheriff Nutt, Davis states, “Neither he, nor the Henderson County Commissioner’s Court, have ever been found by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to be in violation of its standards relating to inmate health care, nor has it ever found a violation of any inmate’s constitutional right to receive reasonable medical care.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Eatery upset

    Jennifer Brown, Manager of Vetoni's Italian Restaurant, took the opportunity to speak to the Gun Barrel City Council during a regularly-scheduled council meeting on Tuesday evening.

    April 24, 2014

  • Eatery upset

    Jennifer Brown, Manager of Vetoni's Italian Restaurant, took the opportunity to speak to the Gun Barrel City Council during a regularly-scheduled council meeting on Tuesday evening.

    April 24, 2014

  • 4-24 KATHY MELTON.JPG Blind since birth, Kathy Melton is a talented piano player

    “The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, they must be felt with the heart” - Helen Keller
    Kathy Melton, of Eustace, has not let being blind stop her from her love of music. Blind since birth, she got her first piano at the young age of four. 

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0195.jpg WFAA Channel 8 kicks off series from city hall

    If you see a few more folks from the Dallas-Fort Worth area at Railway Cafe in Athens over the next couple of weeks, thank WFAA.
    Good Morning Texas, an ABC morning show for WFAA Channel 8 out of Dallas, was in Athens Wednesday to kick-off the “Europe, Texas” series.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Help end child abuse in Henderson County

    Child abuse is a community problem that can take many forms including emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse and verbal abuse. But what people don’t realize is that a little awareness goes a long way to prevent child abuse.
    In a continual effort to fight child abuse, the Henderson County District Attorney's office, County Attorney's office and the Henderson County Sheriff's Department is once again asking everyone to wear blue to raise awareness.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • HC Gwen moffeit.jpg Longtime county clerk Gwen Moffeit looks ahead to retirement

    Henderson County Clerk Gwen Moffeit has been in her new office at the Henderson County Courthouse Annex for about three years, but so many memories still live in the century old building across the street.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif AISD school bus collides with pickup

    A collision involving an Athens Independent School District bus carrying 41 children happened at 7:10 a.m., Wednesday.
    According to one of the Texas Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Troopers that investigated the incident, the collision took place about 1/2 mile down State Highway 31 West from Athens.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-23 RODEO_03.JPG Rodeo time in Athens

    It's rodeo time in Athens as the 29th annual Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Stampede Rodeo is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 25-26.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Malakoff ISD adding school bus

    The Malakoff Independent School District approved the purchase of a new bus during Monday's school board meeting.
    By unanimous decision, the board approved the purchase of a bus for $94,199, with funds from the Henderson County Shared Services Agreement.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • dwayne garner003.jpg Support veterans

    The Cedar Creek Lake Veterans Foundation is gearing up for this year's air show — Thunder Over Cedar Creek Lake. This is the 11th annual event to be held on Saturday, July 5 at Cedar Creek Lake.
    The event will start with a benefit golf tournament on Monday, May 12 at Pinnacle Golf Club.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

AP Video
Twitter Updates