District Attorney Investigator’s position reclassified

Published 8:39 am Wednesday, July 13, 2016

By Trevier Gonzalez

The Orange Leader

“Sometime leadership requires you to say that you’re wrong, that you made a mistake. Cutting the salary of the DA Investigator was wrong, it was a mistake and it was unfair,” District and County Attorney John Kimbrough said.

That’s one of the many voices of law enforcement that made themselves heard in Orange County’s Commissioner’s Court as they strived to convince Orange County Judge Stephen “Brint” Carlton and the four commissioners to reconsider a previous decision that would affect Orange County’s current District Attorney Investigator’s salary at the start of October. According to the county’s 2016 pay matrix table, it would cause a pay deduction by almost 15 percent.

Detective Lauren Kemp of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office has been working as an investigator for approximately eight years. She also disagreed that deducting the salary for District Attorney Investigator Kevin Breshears wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

“In addition to doing all of the things that he has to do for the DA Office, he also provides more resources and expertise that we would never have the privilege of,” Kemp said. “This is a cultivated position.”

Chris Pearson, an investigator for the City of Vidor referred to a double-murder case he had been working on the last year to help the court understand Breshears’ importance within the area.

“One of the first phone calls I made was to KC Breshears to come out to the scene and provide me with assistance,” Pearson said. “If it wasn’t for (his) contacts in the Houston area, I never would have been able to make the progress on this case, we’re very close to wrapping this up with a solve. KC Breshears is probably my most valuable asset here in this county as far when I need assistance on a major crime.”

Following comments of more support for Breshears’ salary to remain where it is from law enforcement as well as Breshears explaining to the court how his job genuinely varies day-to-day, the court took action.

“I think we made a mistake, and I think we ought to step up and say we made a mistake, and go ahead and do the right thing for once,” Commissioner John Banken said.

At a 3-2 vote, the motion to reclassify the District Attorney Investigator’s position from an E2 to an E3 was passed successfully.

For more information, visit co.orange.tx.us.