During Monday’s meeting of the Howard County Commissioners Court, it was announced that the following elected officials had been sworn in on that morning prior to the beginning of the meeting: Tiffany Sayles, Tax Assessor Collector; Angela Griffin, Justice of the Peace, Pct. 1; Jimmie Long, County Commissioner, Pct. 3; Stan Parker, Sheriff; Kneel Stallings, County Constable, Pct. 1; and Eddilisa Ray, County Commissioner, Pct. 1.
Electronic Discovery and possible proposal from Toshiba
Also during the meeting, Hardy Wilkerson, District Attorney for the 118th District, gave a presentation concerning the concept of electronic discovery and to consider a possible proposal from Toshiba.
According to Wilkerson, prosecutors are required to submit their files to the defense so they can argue on points of disagreement. This is currently done by creating two paper copies-one for defense and one for prosecution-so they can have a matching set to easily identify points of interest by looking at the specific page number.
He stated that newer members of the bar have already begun using electronic discovery. It is used by scanning a hard copy of the files directly to the cloud. There the information is username and password protected, encrypted, and restricted to only the lawyers working on that specific case.
The benefits of transitioning to electronic discovery would include an ease of access for authorized lawyers, and provides a log to show that the lawyer has reviewed the material, and the information can be accessed anywhere by those authorized to do so. It also cuts down on paper use by two-thirds.
Cost is approximately $128,000 or $1,175 per month; as proposed by Toshiba, and includes a high speed scanner. This is exclusive to Howard County and cannot be shared by other counties, such as Glasscock.
Commissioner Craig Bailey, Pct. 2, inquired that if there was a breach of security in the system, where does the liability fall?
According to the Toshiba representative, the District Attorney would be responsible for administering passwords to those authorized to have access to that specific case, and each case would have a different password.
It should also be noted that the information entered will belong to Howard County and at no time can Toshiba prevent them from looking at.
No decisions were made concerning the proposal from Toshiba.
Healthy You Vending machine
Commissioners agreed to allow a presentation on the HealthyYou vending machine.
FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The FFCRA expired on December 31, 2020, but Commissioners approved to extend the FFCRA - Families First Coronavirus Response Act - with a vote of 4 - 0. Howard County Judge Kathryn Wiseman was not present for the meeting.
For more information on the FFCRA, visit: