Young County Commissioner Matt Pruitt brought up his own concerns at last week’s commissioners court meeting regarding drug testing elected county officials. The agenda item was tabled indefinitely, but Pruitt said he would continue looking into the matter.
“The reason I was looking into it is that I just think that as an elected official, we need to be held to the same standards as the employees,” Pruitt said. “If there’s an accident that involves a county vehicle or equipment, or if we’re out on the job, and say I’m chainsawing a tree and the saw slips and hits me, or whatever, then we should be held to the same standards as our employees and we should be drug and alcohol tested too.”
According to information from the Texas Association of Counties (TAC), in Texas, “county government delivers services through a variety of elected officials rather than through one central authority. In order to prevent any one office from having too much authority, the Texas Constitution carefully crafted a system in which none of the county’s elected officials is controlled by any other elected official; they answer only to the voters.”
TAC County Relations Officer Lonnie Hunt confirmed the information from TAC’s website.
“No one else has authority over them except the voters,” Hunt said of Texas’ elected county officials. “You cannot require elected officials to be drug tested. They answer to the citizens, and of course they have to abide by the laws of the state of Texas, but there’s no place in the state law that requires that.”
Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.