Mechail Cox did not receive the blessing of Brown County Commissioners to work as the county's emergency management coordinator, but Cox was on the job Tuesday at the Law Enforcement Center.
Brown County Judge Ray West said Tuesday that he had appointed Cox to the position, and that he had done so prior to Monday's meeting of the commissioners court.
West said by law the responsibility of emergency management is imparted to the county judge and he has the right to appoint an emergency management coordinator. West said he had sought commissioners' approval out of "courtesy."
When the commissioners court meeting ended Monday, West said did not indicate he'd already appointed Cox. West did say he might not need to court's approval to appoint Cox as his "assistant" and said "we'll take this up at a later time."
It appears, until something changes, Cox is working for minimum wage. At $7.25 an hour, that's just over $15,000 annually.
County Auditor Nina Cox gave an explanation based on a consultation with County Treasurer Ann Krpoun.
While County Judge Ray West apparently did have right to appoint Mechail Cox — the two are not related — West could not set her salary. That's a function of commissioners, Cox said, and commissioners did not approve her salary.
That leaves Mechail Cox working for minimum wage, the auditor said.
West on Monday had suggested an annual salary of $22,000 for Cox. Her predecessor, Brent Bush, was being paid $26,000 a year when he retired last month.
"The amount of the salary is undetermined," West said Tuesday.
Monday morning, commissioners refused to second West's motion that Cox be appointed as emergency management coordinator, saying the opening needed to be advertised longer and there were more qualified applicants than Cox.
Mechail Cox confirmed Tuesday that Brown County Judge Ray West had appointed her to the job. She referred further comment to West.