County officials elect not to pay special prosecutors

District Court Judge Layne Walker

After ultimately heading the state’s investigation into four current and former officers of the Jefferson County Courthouse, special prosecutor/attorney pro tem Josh Schaffer is attempting to collect his fees. However, County Commissioners are refusing to pay the bill – with an attorney for the elected officials citing case law as to why the county has already overpaid for the work that’s been performed.

Schaffer’s work for the county has been contested since he started – and became even more so after Schaffer sought and secured the criminal indictment of longtime 252nd District Court Judge Layne Walker on allegations that, while on the bench, he utilized county property and personnel to do his personal bidding and campaign work. It was at that time that the Jefferson County district attorney objected to Schaffer’s broad role in special prosecutions. According to the DA’s office, the county’s prosecutor had never been recused or removed from investigating any allegation made against Walker – and Schaffer was overstepping his charge...

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Jennifer Johnson can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 231, or by e-mail at jennifer [at] theexaminer [dot] com.