Judge Steel’s Iron Stroke

“Hays county commissioners have put all Hays county court administration under Judge Steel. The New Braunfels judges say that the court coordinators all work for the judges equally, but Judge Steel hires them. That is like saying that the county judge should hire all of the administrative assistants for the county commissioners and then they would work for all of for all of the county commissioners as the county judge sees fit. That is patently absurd and would not be tolerated anywhere but Hays county.


“The staff has been under the supervision of Judge Steel in Hays county since September of 2016. Before that time the 428th district court had a court coordinator who was responsible for supervising jail cases along with administering coordination for that court. At that time the Hays county jail population had a population of 286 inmates. In September of 2016 the Hays county commissioners approved a plan to put all administration under Judge Steel. Judge Steel represented that “his” employees would still work on the jail population, but they would work under Judge Steel and Steve Thomas’ supervision. Since that time the jail population has doubled and Hays county taxpayers are paying more than $15,000 per day to outsource inmates. Judge Steel has stated publicly and privately that the district courts do not have a role to play in jail population.” (Emphasis ours. Also, HAHAHAHAHAHA - Editor)


In case you were wondering, the jail population thing is what brought all this to a head.


“The point of that illustration is 1) the New Braunfels judges show an unhealthy need for administrative power without corresponding responsibility, 2) where there is a conflict between the needs of New Braunfels judges and the needs of Hays county taxpayers, the New Braunfels judges prevail, and 3) where the needs of Judge Steel and the needs of Hays county taxpayers conflict, the Hays county commissioners choose Judge Steel at the expense of Hays county 4) the New Braunfels judges will take no responsibility in any problem. This situation is not just an oversight or one-time problem; it is a systematic, concerted effort to gather some sort of ridiculous administrative power with no corresponding labor.” (Again, emphasis ours - Editor)


There’s more of course, but the point is made. In any case, I promised you we’d have Judge Steel’s response to Judge Henry, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle. Here it am:


“Among his targets, only Steel responded to a request for comment. ‘Unfortunately, the relationship between Judge Henry and the other Hays County District Judges has been strained for some time,’ he wrote in an email. ‘I was unaware it has reached the level that the tone of his letter indicates.’ Steel said some of Henry’s facts ‘were incorrect and many others were simply conjecture,’ but didn’t elaborate.”


Heh. This ain't over. Goodness, no.


Mike Reynolds