Brownwood city officials have learned the city’s decision to retroactively pay James Campbell $6,100 for serving as interim city manager for nearly three months violated the state constitution, and Campbell is returning the money.

City Attorney Pat Chesser said Campbell has returned $3,592, the net amount of the check he received, and the rest will be netted out on his upcoming paychecks through various withholdings.

Chesser said Brownwood resident Joe Cooksey brought up the matter to him after council members voted on Aug. 14 to retroactively pay Campbell $100 a day for serving as interim city manager. Article III, Section 53 of the Texas Constitution forbids any county or municipal government to grant extra compensation to a public officer after service has been rendered.

“If this had been agreed to up front, it would have been permissible,” Chesser said in an e-mail to the media.

Council members named Campbell, who is the director of the Brownwood Economic Develop Corp., as interim city manager on May 22. Campbell stepped down from the interim city manager’s role on Aug. 14, the same day council members voted to hire Bobby Rountree as city manager and named Don Hatcher as interim city manager until Rountree begins work.

Council members unanimously approved councilman Carl McMillan’s motion that day to give Campbell the back pay.