An email from Judge Samuel Vederman to Superior Court appointees Wednesday apologized on behalf of La Paz County for its outstanding payments to them.
The email, which described the County’s finances as “a disaster”, was sent to appointed counsel, judges, the County Attorney and the Public Defender’s office. Parker Live obtained the email from a third party early on Wednesday afternoon.
“I have been made aware of the fact that appointed counsel are not being paid in a timely manner and I apologize for any hardship this may be causing you,” Vederman wrote. “The fact is, La Paz County is going through a financial crisis and the county does not have enough money to pay you in a timely manner. Some of you are owed a substantial amount of money and that is extremely unfortunate as you have worked in good faith to provide the county with valuable services. I fully anticipate that you will all be paid the money you are owed at some point in the future, but I am not able to say when that will occur.”
Vederman went on to assure appointees that he is confident in the measures being taken by Interim County Administrator Robert Smith and other staff who are responsible for the finances of the County.
“Like many of you, I am shocked to learn the extent of the problem,” he wrote. “I knew there was a problem, but from what I have recently been told it is far worse than I had ever imagined. Frankly, county finances are a disaster right now and there is no way to spin it any other way. It is not clear to me what the prior county administrator was actually doing to address this problem, if anything.”
The email finished by informing recipients of the resignation of County Finance Director Brandon Mancuso, who left his job on Tuesday morning.
For previous recent stories on La Paz County’s financial problem, see: