County shuffles employees

Published 10:00 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

LaGRANGE – The Troup County Board of Commissioners approved moving a county employee to another office in order to provide an additional public defender to the state at its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The move would help resolve a potential conflict of interest for the public defenders, and the commissioners were required to vote on the staffing changes due to the county’s ongoing hiring freeze.

“I got approached about six months ago by the superior court judges and state court judges about the conflict of interest we have when a family is in state court, and there are two siblings and we only have one person who is having to represent both people,” said County Manager Tod Tentler during Friday’s work session. “It sounds kind of unusual, but it’s not. It happens all the time.”

The county should be reimbursed for the funds needed to replace the position, but the county would most likely wait for that money to come in before taking applications for the opening.

“(We) didn’t really have the funding in place at the time, so we discussed it and came up with an out of the box idea of moving one of our staff into that position,” said Tentler on Tuesday. “… So, what we would do would be go ahead and as soon as we’ve got that ready to go, move that staff person there, and then when (Judge) Jack Kirby (of the state superior court) gets the money reimbursed from the state – when we’ve got that in place – we would advertise for that position to be replaced, and it would not only be a receptionist, but take online registration and a few other things that we’d like to change over.”

Among those changes is an increased effort by the county to move more services online, like online applications that have been discussed in earlier work sessions, though applicants for county positions are still required to file applications through the state Department of Labor.

The commission finished the meeting with an executive session to discuss a personnel matter, board appointments and possible litigation.

The Troup County Board of Commissioners plan to meet again on Tuesday, March 7 at 9 a.m. at 100 Ridley Ave.