Trouble In Ector County

By Camaron Abundes
NewsWest 9

ODESSA- "It's not that you just need a warm body in the courtroom, to sit there, when you have a case especially a child abuse case you need to put time into preparing it," said County Attorney, Cathy Linch.

Linch says the number of child protective service cases have doubled, this year. That's why when the County Attorney's resident family law lawyer, Lilly Plummer, left Tuesday she started looking for replacements.

"We've posted it, we had some interviews setup and with people that sounded like they could handle it and then the commissioners cut the position this morning," she said.

Linch says the County Attorney's office historically kept five assistants on staff, but they had lost one assistant a few years ago. Last year they got that position back. But County Judge Susan Redford says that position was given to the County Attorney to handle truancy cases, funded by the school district.

"What the court decided today to do is eliminate the truancy court position, last year the county agreed and entered in to receive funding from the school district for a position to support the truancy court. The county has opted out of handling truancy court this year and the function has fallen back on the city therefore we no longer received any funding from the school district," said Judge Redford who says they no longer need the position.

"You can call it what you want but right now we don't have a CPS attorney on staff," said Linch, who says the truancy position was simply an assistant position. '

"Something is going to fall through the cracks and it's the kids that are going to pay for it," said Cathy Linch "That is just the scariest thing possible to me."