July 6, 2015

 Karen Degges

First, thank you to all the people that attended tonight. The meeting had to be moved to the courtroom upstairs.

At the BOC meeting tonight an Executive Session was called immediately after the public hearing for the budget. At 6:27PM the Commissioners, along with Karen Degges and the county attorneys (both of them), went into Executive Session.

At 6:58pm Karen Degges came out of Executive Session and then was called back in at 7:14PM. She left with attorney David Ozburn after gathering up her drink and glasses.

The BOC reconvened at 7:16PM. Comm. Salmon made a motion to “accept the medical leave absence for the County Manager so she can get her hip fixed.” One of the commissioners added this would be for 90 days. Comm. Trammell added if she wasn’t back on her feet in 90 days she would then go on COBRA. Comm. Luke seconded the motion.

The BOC voted 4-1 with Comm. Henry against.

Comm. Salmon made a 2nd motion to appoint Mike Benton as interim County Manager. Comm. Henry seconded this motion. The BOC voted 4-1 with Comm. Pennamon against.

Mike Benton then took Karen Degges’ place at the table with the BOC and the attorneys. Though an increase in pay was not discussed for Mr. Benton’s new role, the BOC will certainly approve one.

When the meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:22pm, Mary Patrick asked if Karen Degges would be paid for this 90 days of medical leave. The county attorney told the BOC they didn’t have to answer that question. Comm. Trammell said it was “a personnel issue.” Other citizens started to chime in and say, “It is our money and we want to know” and other similar comments. Jim Alexander was reminded that we citizens pay his salary as well.

Finally Comm. Pennamon asked, “Why would it hurt to answer the question?” Then we were all told that yes indeed, Karen Degges will be paid for 90 days. Folks, this will cost you $21,250 of your tax money!

90 days will give Karen Degges time to find another job and it won’t be on her record that she was fired, dismissed, or relieved of her duties. Instead, some other unsuspecting county or city will have to go through what Jasper County has gone through for two years.

More to come on this story and other things that happened at the meeting tonight, along with video!

Your comments are welcome!





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  1. Sammy says:

    Why are you worried about paying Karen Degges for 90 more days? She has been paid for the last 2 years for doing a bunch of nothing. Her main accomplishment has been harassing employees and making the commissioners look like fools.

    • Stating the Obvious says:

      Please don’t credit the Ms.Degges with making the commissioners look like fools.That was an accomplishment all their own. After all , Karen Degges didn’t hire herself.

    • ROTFLMAO says:

      You are right Sammy! What’s 90 more days. But I’m thinking she isn’t making the commissioners look foolish. After listening to and watching these men, I question the looking like part.

  2. Peasant says:

    This BOC clearly does not care about the burden placed on the taxpayers, nor do they care about serving the citizens they represent. Mr. Johnson, who spoke about being forced to pay curbside fees each year for an unoccupied home, speaks volumes. As noted last night, curbside fees have evolved into yet another taxpayer cookie jar for the commissioners to raid. For those ”special” members of the political clique, of which Ms. Degges is an elite member, access to taxpayer dollars without accountability is the accepted norm.

    Ms. Degges pointed out at a BOC meeting “This is the year of the roads”. $21,250.00 could have been used for a lot of road improvements.

    We are being told Ms. Degges requires possible surgery. It appears to me that the taxpayers are being operated on by this BOC and they are surgically removing every dime from our pockets with a dull scalpel.

    The commissioners gave us comfort, assuring us that the pain they endured with a tax increase was far greater than the pain inflicted on the widows and retirees on fixed incomes

  3. Joe says:

    Karen Degges is not on medical leave for her hip. She was put on medical leave for her menopausal short term memory loss,

    • Doogie Howser MD says:

      I recall Gene Trammell suffering from the same affliction. Seems as though this disease is becoming rampant on those who come in contact with board members. Do you think he will require 90 days paid leave also?

    • Tammy says:

      As one who has short term menopausal memory loss I can tell you that’s bull. It’s gonna take a whole lot more than 90 days to get over that. I guess any crazy excuse is better than none.

  4. Mike says:

    Unbelievable!! I’m sure she sitting back smiling just like in picture, What idiots! God help us!

  5. What is going on?? says:

    Once again the public is speculating on Ms. Degges’ medical leave because the BOC does not communicate open and honestly.

    The most radical “hip fixing” would require total hip replacement. According to the American Association of hip and knee surgeons, “Returning to work is highly dependent on your general health, activity level and demands of your job. If you have a sedentary job, such as computer work, you can expect to return to work by 4-6 weeks. If you have a more demanding job that requires lifting, walking, or travel, you may need up to 3 months for full recovery”


    The County Manager’s job does not require a lot of standing or walking. I have 3 family members that had total hip replacements. Two were over 90 years old at the time of their surgeries. All were mobile with days and walked with little assistance of a cane within 3 weeks. This leads me to believe that there is more going on than hip replacement.

    What happens after the 90 days are up?

    I have heard it said that the leave of absence will give Ms. Degges 90 days to find other employment. If that is the case, our BOC screwed over the taxpayers again. If the point is to terminate Ms. Degges, they could have done so and given her 90 days severance pay. This would give Ms. Degges time to look for another job and the BOC could advertise for a new county manager right away.

    We do not live in a vacuum. When information is withheld from the public, the vacuum gets filled with information, sometimes incorrectly so.

  6. fair is fair says:

    I think she deserves the same treatment she dished out, she removed people from jobs that had been here for years to put people of her choosing in their place, lied to keep them from getting their unemployment, and lied to the people of this country, if you felt she should be terminated do it the same way she has been doing it, i think her favorite firing

    offense is gross insubordination, and cut her off from our tax dollars, the public is not
    stupid as to what happened last night she will be allowed resign and move on when her 90 days are up, she should not be rewarded for her deception to the people of this county.

  7. Irritated Employees says:

    I, along with all the other employees of this county are very upset that our county manager gets 90 days PAID medical leave. I personally don’t understand how and why she gets special treatment. She is the county manager but still an employee of the county. I have put off surgery because I do not have enough PTO time and can’t afford to stay out of work longer if needed. Goes to show you how much commissioner care about employees. A lot of us are scared of losing our jobs if we speak out because we know what has happened in the past 2 years.

  8. Steve says:

    Ninety days medical leave- I believe that this is called the Family and Medical Leave Act. FMLA is unpaid leave.There is no hip problem on this planet that takes 90 days to fix. How much sick and vacation time has she accrued? Does anyone know if she has a severance clause in her county manager contract? Will she be paid an additional three or six months severance?? Who is watching out for the taxpayer? The upcoming audit results must be pretty bad for Ms. Degges to leave her position with a medical problem.

  9. Drsaid says:

    Well now it is over 15,000 +21,250 way to go Boc.

  10. Eye on the Trammell Hook and Crook Administration says:

    Did Karen Degges just get a three month notice of dismissal? If not, then why couldn’t something as mundane as a medical leave of absence not be handled in open meeting , or at least executive session be postponed until the end of the budget meeting, unless of course the BoC purposely went into executive session hoping most of the crowd would get bored and leave the meeting before they re-appeared . But, then again, this is not out of the ordinary for the Trammell administration …by hook and crook has been their preferred style of managing county government since taking office.

    And, last time I checked, no one elected Jim Alexander to any public office in Jasper County. When a citizen directs a question at a Commissioner, it is not Mr. Alexander’s business to reply. He is the county attorney and is not a 6th commissioner, although he seems to think he is. Perhaps it’s time Mr. Alexander is sent on extended medical holiday….and, he can take his wannabee replacement David Ozburn with him.

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