Commissioner Stanford Takes Heat

Commissioner Dean Stanford was in court along with the other Leon County Commissioners, Wednesday, October 31st. The courtroom contained an overflowing audience of citizens who want Stanford to resign his position as commissioner. Leon County Judge Byron Ryder presided and allowed all who had signed up for public comments to express their concern.

Nina Mendez, an assistant at the county health resources, spoke first and at length concerning Stanford who plead guilty to the charge of Assault Causing Bodily Injury following an incident earlier this year. The victim in the case was his wife, Christie Stanford. Following requests from Ryder and others, Stanford has refused to resign, saying that he intends to fulfill the duties of the office to which he was elected.

Mendez read from what sounded like a carefully prepared statement as she spoke for the people who were in the audience with her. Addressing Stanford she said, ?You have made the county a laughing stock? referring not only to charges brought against him for the assault but the affair Stanford engaged in with another county official that became public knowledge.

?Any man of decency,? said Mendez, ?would step down from the position of commissioner.? Mendez also asked the other members of commissioners court if they would sign the petition asking for Stanford?s removal. After a few moments without a response, Mendez said to the audience. ?Their silence is evidence of their support for Mr. Stanford.?

Commissioner Joey Sullivan said that he had not seen a petition. Commissioner David Ferguson said that he did not sign petitions as a matter of course. In general, the court including Stanford, remained quiet without comment as Mendez and other speakers voiced their disapproval of Stanford remaining on the court.

After Mendez concluded, former Leon County Sheriff Mike Price spoke. ?I was in office when the program to aid the victims of domestic violence started in our county. It?s been a good program that has helped a lot of people. The presence here today of these women tell you where their hearts are. My desire is for your hearts to be in the same place and support these ladies.?

Tanya Foster, Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence, also spoke. ?There have been 284 cases of of domestic abuse in our county this year and that includes 5 deaths. It is not a good example to have a man in office who is guilty of this same offense. We ask you to do the right thing and step down.?

Teresa Nix was the final speaker. Nix is a resident of Precinct 3 that Stanford maintains. ?I don?t feel safe, said Nix, ?with this man in office. It is the best thing for the county and best for the precinct if you will step down.?

In other Court Business:

The court approved a request for $1,500 from the Master Gardeners for the purpose of restoring and replacing the Christmas decorations used on the square.

The court approved a request from Donna Danford for reimbursement in the amount of $125 for travel expenses incurred by Mendez who traveled to other counties to visit the United Way.

Approval was given for the River Tower Lease Agreement between Leon County and KBPC, LLC.

The Interlocal Lease Agreement between Leon County and Workforce Solutions Brazos Valley was approved. Workforce pays the county rent of $500 a month to maintain an office on the square.

Additional funding in the amount of $140 was approved for the Leon Economical Planning Committee grant of $5,000.

The memorandum of understanding for the Brazos Valley Transportation Partnership with Leon County was approved. This program provides transportation for those who need it to travel to medical facilities.

Approval was voted on the Premises Jail Cell Check System that is being paid for with commissary funds. The cost for the system is $7,460.

Approval was given on the recommendation for Leon County opioid litigation changing from Federal Court to State Court in order to speed up the process.

Approval was given on declaring a local state of disaster for Leon County and a letter to be sent to the Governor. This measure was due to flooding from rivers that damaged ranches, some residences, and vacation homes.

The court approved the acceptance of the public application to adopt private road 3155 in Precinct 3 into county road maintenance.

The items to adopt the accounts payable policy and the approval of personnel policy changes were both tabled.

A donation of busted concrete from Harold Richmond in Precinct 3 on Lake Limestone was accepted.

The court decided that the 3% raise for FY 2019 applies only to those hired prior to the budget that went into effect on October 1st.

The court approved a donation of $1,500 for the annual toy drive.

Approval was given for Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis to purchase bullet proof vests for deputies. A 50% grant was awarded for the purchase, the remaining amount needed, $7,812.50 will come from funds from drug seizures.