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20110916_HidalgoCountySealEDINBURG — Nearly 10 district courts here asked Hidalgo County Commissioners to approve salary adjustments for staff totaling over $36,000.

Over $10,000 of that was requested from indigent defense.

The salary adjustments were mostly for court coordinator and assistant coordinator raises, according to the requests the court was set to vote on this week.

Adjustments were at least $1,600 increases and at most $9,000 in indigent defense for the program manager’s salary.

Judge Noe Gonzalez of the 370th District Court told commissioners the salary adjustments he requested were within the budget set for the court.

“We are not asking for more funds from the taxpayer…other than what’s in the budget,” Gonzalez told the court.

Unlike other county employees, court employees aren’t under the step and grade program for salary increases, said Valde Guerra, the commissioners’ court executive officer.

While commissioners’ approved Gonzalez’s request, they tabled the other requests until they could meet with each judge and the indigent defense program managers. Precinct 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores said he was hesitant to OK salary adjustments for courts when other departments, like the attorneys in the district attorney’s office, had not been granted raises they’ve requested. Additionally, he said he was concerned that each court coordinator had a different salary.

Gonzalez told the court the jobs are based on responsibility and explained some courts work differently from others.

Judges are expected to meet with commissioners in the coming weeks.

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