CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — In a unanimous vote, Clay County Commissioners accepted former tax assessor-collector Maribel Longoria’s resignation after she was charged in August with misapplication of fiduciary funds over $300,000.
“It was negotiated with our county attorney and our district attorney. You know, she’s been under some indictment, and there was a trial coming up for temporary removal. So, I think this was just avoiding that,” Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said.
The charges come after the Texas Comptroller’s Office began an investigation in July 2021 and alleged she repeatedly failed or delayed to deposit public funds and specifically, knowingly or recklessly misapplied more than $1.5 million in funds in 2018, as well as placing $9.2 million at risk.
The 97th District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Comptroller’s Office are continuing the investigation and no court date has been set for Longoria.
After accepting the resignation, commissioners went into executive session to discuss a replacement, and it’s someone already familiar with the office.
“Commissioners court has chosen Patti Jackson. Patti has worked in the office for many years and is certainly well aware of how it works down there. So we are very fortunate to have Patti,” Campbell said.
Campbell said Jackson will finish out the remainder of the term. The office seat will be on the ballot in 2024.
“Commissioners court is allowed to appoint someone to take their place so she is the full-blown tax assessor-collector until the next general election. It will be up to her to decide whether or not to run for that office,” Campbell said.
Campbell says there’s some training left for Jackson to do with the Comptrollers Office, Texas Division of Motor Vehicles and a few other requirements.
The tax assessor’s office will be closed as Jackson completes those requirements. Campbell is expecting the office to reopen by December 5.