Orange County District Attorney’s Office will have one less position from now on.
A recently vacated Junior Criminal Investigator position was approved to be dissolved by Commissioners Court Monday.
A remaining Criminal Investigator, K.C. Breshears, will have the title Chief Investigator with a $20,000 increase in pay.
“The issue we discovered in trying to fill the position is the current payscale,” Assistant District Attorney Douglas E. Manning said. “No one wants to start at that salary.”
By dissolving the position, the office will save the county $81,000.
“The savings is not just from the salary,” Mannings said. “It also includes the cost of benefits such as longevity pay, and retirement.”
The savings also reflects a car allowance and certificate pay the county will save.
Mannings said the decision was an economic decision while Commissioner Pct. 4 Jody Crump was concerned it would start a precedent in other departments.
Mannings said that if another department presented the option before the court they would need to answer two questions:
Who were they going to cut?
How much would the department save annually?
“This position is still below the threshold of market value,” Mannings said.
Mannings also said that when he started, there were 4 Criminal Investigators. With the changes, there will be one person, Chief Investigator, performing those duties which include acting as a liaison between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
“If Breshears leaves tomorrow, we would be hard pressed to fill the position,” Mannings said. “Other investigators get overtime.”
The changing classification does not change the starting salary of a starting investigator, only Breshears classification.
Commissioners Owen Burton and Jody Crump voted against dissolving the position while John Banken and David Dubose voted for it. County Judge Carl Thibodeaux voted to approve the changes.