Solution to fixing DA backlog tops Tuesday's WilCo Commissioners Court meeting

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

The Williamson County Commissioners Court met Tuesday for its weekly meeting.

District Attorney Shawn Dick addressed the Williamson County Commissioners Court concerning several emergency budget items at Tuesday's meeting.

A backlog of 218 DA cases in Williamson County was the main concern, but discussion about pay raises and a new position also took place.

The court and Dick seemed to come to an agreement over how to handle the current backlog of cases. Although no action was taken today, paying three different investigators overtime from current unallocated law enforcement funds appeared to be the answer. Dick proposed the investigators would work one day every weekend between now and Sept. 30 and receive time-and-half pay.

Dick stressed the importance of finding a solution and said some of these cases should have been taken care of years ago.

"We actually create a backlog every day right now," Dick said.  "We are receiving 25 requests a day, and can only work on 10."

An item to hire a new discovery clerk was also discussed. Dick said his office is about 1,500 discovery requests, or pre-trial work in which each party can obtain evidence from other parties, behind right now. Dick and the court seemed to agree on funding the new position for six months and then funding it fully during the next budget season.

Dick beat out former District Attorney Jana Duty and took office in January. The court awarded the district attorney's office three new positions before Dick took office. Dick also proposed the three positions' salaries be raised during Tuesday's meeting.

The court took no action today and each of the three items will appear on the agenda at the March 7 meeting.