WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — During County Commissioner’s Court on Monday, August 3, 2020, the commissioners approved an item that paid the legal bills of a commissioner.
Wichita County Precinct Four Comissioner Jeff Watts was accused of abuse of power, Watts racked up a $4,400 legal bill during the fight against the allegation, one of which he was never indicted for.
Commissioner Watts said this all stems from two drainage projects to improve an area in Iowa Park and another in Electra. The commissioners added that they received weekly updates, and every expenditure for the project was approved by the Commissioner’s Court.
Commissioner Jeff Watts said “I mean what we were doing was specifically for a great public purpose, we cleaned out some drainage areas were being impacted, they’ve been impacted since the drought.”
This is not the first time Wichita County has seen a situation like this before. The Commissioner’s Court approved paying over $13,000 for Gossom’s legal bills, that’s after a court of inquiry against Gossom was thrown out last December. Judge Gossom said they received updates and had no reason to believe there was wrongdoing and it would be different if there was.
Judge Woody Gossom said “If they just flat stole it, then I don’t believe the county would pay for representation… But in this case, it did public benefit, there were some things that they needed an explanation and they got that, the light was shown on them and nobody found anything wrong.”
The specific projects completeed in precinct four were to alleviate flooding near China Creek in Electra, and Buffalo Creek south of Iowa Park.
Commissioner Watts is still unsure who brought about this allegation against him but said he will make sure all future projects are officially approved on the agenda.