By Juan Montoya
How would you like a gig where in five months you work less than a 40 hour week and get paid $8,332 for it?
Nice work if you can get it, uh?
Or how about if you really put your nose to the grindstone and tally up 46 hours for the same amount of pay ($8,300).
If you paid those two people $16,664 for the 83 hours they actually work, you'd be paying them about $200 an hour.
Well, according to records at the Rucker-Carrizales unit of the Cameron County corrections department, those are the hours punched in by our two magistrates at the calaboose from April to August. Their salaries are set at $25,000 a year.
And that's not all. Not only do these two magistrates (Adolfo E. Cordova and Alfredo Padilla) punch in as little as seven minutes a day (Padilla, April 13) but they also have clerical and administrative assistants to help them bear their heavy load. And even though their office website lists their office hours as Monday thru Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.,and Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, it is a rare day when the magistrates are there for even one hour on any given day.
Jail administrators were wary of how they spent their time and (being cops at heart) set up a surveillance on court administrator Dora A. Guzman, and part-time clerk Venessa Juarez to see just what it was that they did on county time and found that the girls dis just about everything that a person does when they are not on the public dime.You know, go to the store, take a walk in the mall, visit mom and dad, etc.
Well, we all know it's budget time at Cameron Couonty and that usually means that cuts are made here and there. After being made aware of the sweet deal these two legal eagles have been handed by the county, the move is on to place the new justice of the peace position at Carrizales to lighten the load on the taxpayer. Not all the commissioners knew this was happening so hopefully there will be enough votes (all it takes is three, remember?) to make the change so that county taxpayers can get some relief from this legal gravy train.