By Ray King

Although a committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court last week recommended filling a number of vacant positions in various offices, the full Quorum Court on Monday rejected nearly all of the recommendations.

Out of the nine positions that elected officials sought to fill, only three, two cooks, one each for the adult detention center and the juvenile detention center, and a clerk in the Civil and Small Claims Division of District Court won approval.

After the meeting, Jefferson County Judge Gerald Robinson was asked about the votes Monday versus the votes last week.

Positions that were not filled included a deputy tax collector, voter registration clerk, vacant secretary/clerk at the sheriff’s office, part-time nurse at the detention center, sheriff’s public information officer, and a maintenance worker at the detention facility.

A two-thirds majority of nine votes was required to approve filling the vacant positions and none of the vacant positions drew more than seven yes votes.

In other business, Monday, a grant totaling $15,000 that was received from the Arkansas Administrative Office of the Courts to improve courthouse security was approved for spending.

That grant will be used to pay most of the costs of contraband detection systems, one of which will go into the county courthouse and a second into the adult jail. The total cost of the project was listed as $19,000.

Also approved was the transfer of $25,000 from the county’s reserve fund to the sheriff’s office. The money will help to resolve a lawsuit filed by employees at the jail who sued the county, alleging overtime violations of the fair employment act.

Attorney fees over and above the $25,000 will be paid by insurance.