Smith County - Salaries: Taxpayers supplement DA, 4 other elected officials

Published on Saturday, 23 August 2014 23:17 - Written by Adam Russell arussell@tylerpaper.com

The bulk of five elected officials’ salaries are reimbursed by the state of Texas, but more than $50,000 is paid directly by Smith County taxpayers.

District Attorney Matt Bingham receives $140,000 base pay from the state. He also receives a $10,000 supplement from Smith County.

District Court judges Kerry Russell, of the 7th District Court; Christi Kennedy, of the 114th District Court; Jack Skeen, of the 241st District Court; and Carole Clark, of the 321st District Court, receive $140,000 in base pay from the state and a $10,000 Juvenile Board Supplement and $2,500 Juvenile Board Travel supplement from Smith County.

Section 24.025 of the Texas Government Code stipulates “all district judges in a county are entitled to equal amounts of supplemental compensation from the county” and that “a district judge is entitled to an amount of supplemental compensation for serving on the juvenile board of a county that is equal to the amount other judges serving on the juvenile board receive.”

The Tyler Morning Telegraph surveyed six similar-sized counties, including Bell, Brazos, Ellis, Galveston, Johnson and McLennan counties, regarding supplemental pay.

The Brazos County District Attorney and judges receive $15,000 local supplements plus various longevity pay based on their tenures. One judge receives a $480 cellphone allowance and all officials are reimbursed for travel based on county policy.

Bell and Galveston counties pay their district attorneys and judges $18,000 in supplemental income.

District Attorney and judges’ supplemental pay in Ellis County is $10,672.

The Johnson County District Attorney receives $29,530 salary and an $80 monthly cellphone allowance, while the county’s three district judges receive $18,000 per year for Juvenile Board work plus a $40 monthly cellphone allowance.

McLennan County’s District Attorney receives $17,317 in supplemental pay. District judges there receive $15,000 pay and $1,500 from the Juvenile Board.