Brewster County Commissioners Vote Unanimously to Remove County Treasurer from Office

Brewster County Commissioners Vote Unanimously to Remove County Treasurer from Office

BREWSTER COUNTY, TX (KWES) - The Brewster County Treasurer got the boot. Commissioners decided to oust Ruth Staton at their meeting on Thursday morning.

It all comes on the heels of problems with the county's finances. In the end, commissioners voted unanimously to remove her from office.

The decision followed a series of events and complaints, prompting the county to request for a county auditor to help straighten things up financially.

"It's never easy to pursue something that's going to compromise the voters' opinion or right to vote. At the same time, as stewards of county resources, it's our job to protect," said Brewster County Judge, Eleazar Cano.

Since the County Treasurer Ruth Staton took office in January, Judge Cano says he began getting phone calls from vendors and grant funding sources, citing money problems.

"Here we are halfway through the year, and it seems like every other day, I get a phone call about something else that hasn't been done, a report that hasn't been filed," said Cano.

Officials say department funds aren't properly accounted for, the 2015 budget amendments can't be provided and documents for the county's 2014 audit were not provided in a timely manner.

"Every elected official has come to me within the last month - at least three or four times a week - about things that aren't being paid on time, payroll not being quite right," said Cano.

For those reasons, commissioners voted to remove Staton from office.

In an interview with Staton back on March 4, she told NewsWest 9 her thoughts about the auditor proposal.

"I welcome the help. I'm shorthanded right now but I have been harassed and inundated with extra things," said Staton.

She says commissioners asked her to resign.

"If I did resign, then they would drop the county auditor thing. I was elected by the people," said Staton.

In Thursday morning's Commissioners Court meeting, Judge Cano says they couldn't reach an agreement for Staton to resign, so they are instead pursuing a legal route. He expects the next steps in the removal process to begin Tuesday as the county prepares for their 2014 audit.

NewsWest 9 reached out to Ruth Staton for comment on Thursday and we're told she will not be speaking to the media at this time.