Raise requests rejected for Sheriff and other Cameron County leaders

Before Cameron County Sheriff Omar Lucio, Precinct 2 Constable Abelardo Gomez and Justice of the Peace Sallie Gonzalez make their case for a bump in pay, the public hit the podium Tuesday evening.

Dagoberto Barrera calls himself a community watchdog from Brownsville who's adamantly against any raise in county salaries during this recession.

"They TMre already getting a thousand dollars, each one of them and they shouldn TMt want more in this recession." he said.

Amalia Garza couldn't disagree more.

She tells county salary grievance committee members how the increase is long overdue and that the process of just asking for what's deserved can be humiliating.

"It is humiliating because you have to explain everything that should already be there for people to see as far as accomplishments are concerned," she said.

Sheriff Lucio wants a $25,000 pay raise.

He currently makes around $97,000 a year, a figure well below his counterpart in Hidalgo County at $145,000, according to him.

JP Gonzalez's salary sits at around $46,000 a year.

She's requesting a $9,000 boost in pay because her position is one of lowest paid in the state compared to other JP's with a similar case load.

Constable Gomez makes about $46,000 dollars a year.

He says additional responsibilities like securing the Cameron County courthouse are grounds for a $7,000 raise.

After each elected leader receives their 5 minute allotted time to speak, committee members take less than an hour to make a decision.

The requested pay raises are overwhelmingly rejected for each person.

Only 1 out of 9 committee member votes in favor of a raise for each of the county leaders.

None of the elected leaders opt to speak to Action 4 News after the decision on their raise request is denied.

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