The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Hunt County Jail: The Inside Story

June 8, 2008

Judge Horn: ‘I will continue this fight to the very end’

Commissioners to decide today on whether to pursue jail lawsuit

GREENVILLE — The Hunt County Commissioners Court is set to vote in open court today whether to pursue litigation regarding the Hunt County Jail.

Today’s vote is the result of months of studies regarding the county’s legal options into the structurally-deficient Hunt County Criminal Justice Center.

Since the facility first opened about six years ago it has faced a number of structural problems ranging from cracks in the foundation and walls to small pieces of the ceiling falling as the building shifts.

Most of the litigation discussion has happened behind closed doors, but the county recently released four depositions, which have detailed some abnormalities that happened during the construction process, including two previously undisclosed geo-technical reports. Those geo-technical reports recently came to light as a result of the depositions.

During a speech at the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Membership Luncheon on Friday, County Judge John Horn said he believes the county has a good opportunity to recover the money it spent on the facility.

“I will continue this fight to the very end and get back every possible dime to the taxpayers,” he promised.

That statement was met with applause by the luncheon’s attendees.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Phillip Martin also said the county needs to hold people “accountable and responsible” for the facility’s shortcomings.

Pct. 1 Commissioner Kenneth Thornton said he is very concerned about the facility’s condition and described today’s decision as “critical.”

He said after today’s vote everyone will know where he stands.

Pct. 2 Commissioner Ralph Green said after listening to the county’s attorneys, he is not sure if the county has a good chance of recouping any of its money as it has been more than eight years since the start of the project.

“I don’t think at this point in time that we’re going to have a whole lot of chance of getting a lot of money from anyone,” Green said.

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Hunt County Jail: The Inside Story
  • Hunt County Jail Timeline Judge Horn: ‘I will continue this fight to the very end’ The Hunt County Commissioners Court is set to vote in open court today whether to pursue litigation regarding the Hunt County Jail.

    Today’s vote is the result of months of studies regarding the county’s legal options into the structurally-deficient Hunt County Criminal Justice Center.

    June 8, 2008 1 Photo

  • Missing jail documents finally turn up

    May 30, 2008

  • Deposition: Officials may have had advanced warning of structural problems at jail County officials may have had advanced warning that the Hunt County Criminal Justice Center would have structural problems if certain things were not done prior to construction, a report released by Hunt County last week revealed.

    And nobody can agree who is at fault with each party pointing the finger at someone else.

    May 28, 2008

  • More work planned for county jail

    February 12, 2008

  • Geotechnical experts to study county jail Several geotechnical experts are expected to spend Friday studying the Hunt County Jail in hopes that they can give county officials advice on what to do next.

    January 30, 2008

  • EDITORIAL: Inaction at jail raises suspicion Would you simply say, "I got what I paid for" and start patching up the cracks?

    No way. You'd immediately be on the phone with a lawyer trying to get your money back for the shoddy design or construction.

    February 24, 2007

  • A note on government records To find the documents used in this story, the Herald-Banner filed several written requests with government agencies under the Texas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    February 24, 2007

  • jail1 PART II: No concrete answers Hunt County's new, $14 million jail opened just five years ago, but today it looks like it's falling apart. The Herald-Banner investigates in our three-part series, "Hunt County Jail: The Inside Story."

    February 24, 2007 3 Photos 2 Links

  • A note from the editor Even after months of sifting through public records and conducting interviews, we’re left with more questions than answers.

    February 22, 2007

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