The Commissioners Court approved Tuesday afternoon to pay David Bernsen the attorney for the Montano family $3,175,674.79 to settle the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Orange County. Robert Montano died while in the Orange County Jail back in 2011. His family sued Orange County and won a multi-million dollar award from a Beaumont jury which was later upheld on appeal.
County Judge Brint Carlton has scheduled a public meeting on the Montano lawsuit later this month to review the whole matter. The public review will be held Monday, February 27, at 5:30 PM most likely in the Orange County Convention and Expo Center. Carlton stated, “We will talk about past, present, and future of what’s transpired from 2011 until today going forward.”
No action was taken Tuesday by the Commissioners on a presentation two weeks ago from Enterprise Fleet Management on leasing vehicles for the county. The Court agreed it would probably hold an internal workshop in early June to discuss the matter and then have another workshop with Enterprise in July to discuss also leasing vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office. A decision one way or the other to lease vehicle would probably be made in August during budget discussions for the new fiscal year which starts in October.
The Orange County Mosquito District was approved a $2700 line item transfer for equipment and other items to fight mosquitoes. Mosquito Director Patrick Beebe said the unseasonably warm weather could mean a quick start and an active mosquito season in the county. He indicated his department is finishing up its winter season preparations, but will be ready for the mosquitoes in two weeks or as necessary.
The Commissioners Court also approved a line item transfer of $13,000 for District Clerk Vickie Edgerly to be used for extra help in her office. The vote was 4-1 in favor of the line item transfer with only Commissioner Jody Crump opposing it.
Both the Sheriff’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management were authorized to apply for grant projects with the Law Enforcement Terrorism Prevention Activity and the State Homeland Security Program. Deputy Dennis Marlow coordinated the grant requests for the Sheriff’s Office. Missy Pillsbury the Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator handled the requests for grants by Emergency Management.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-