For the second time in less than a year, a Young County Commissioner mentioned during an open meeting the need for better communication with another county entity.

At Monday morning’s commissioners court meeting on June 16, Commissioner Matt Pruitt said he would like to facilitate heightened transparency between county officials and the Young County Sheriff’s Department.

Commissioner Mike Sipes agreed, stating that in order to effectively govern Young County, the court should know what’s going on. Pruitt’s assertion was a reaction to the June 5 arrest of former Young County Sheriff’s Deputy Chris Wacaster on a sexual assault charge.

Specifically, Pruitt said he wasn’t sure if the court needed to discuss the issue in a closed meeting, but county officials should no longer be taken by surprise with incidents that could cost the county untold amounts of money in potential litigation.

“I think we need to know what’s going on out there,” Pruitt said. “When people are coming up to me and asking what’s going on out there, and we have no clue what’s going on; why the guy got arrested and what the details were of it, I think we should be informed of it. That’s part of our county and part of our job.”

Pruitt added that it would be a good idea to enact some kind of early warning system of communication between any county office and the commissioners court.

“Any time that there could be legal issues against the county, they should tell us what’s going on because this could turn into a civil suit, could it not? Who knows? I don’t know the details of it. How do we know what’s going on?” Pruitt said. “All we know is news reporters are contacting us, and nobody knows anything.”

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.