Harris County Commissioners on Tuesday fired Bill Jackson as county budget officer.
The motion came from Democratic Commissioner Adrian Garcia, who argued Jackson had been less than transparent in how he ran the budget office. The vote was 3-2 along party lines.
Republican County Commissioners Steve Radack and Jack Cagle refused to participate in the executive session where Jackson’s fate was decided, and said the motion had come with no warning.
“We have this marvelous AAA rating because of our openness and transparency,” Cagle said. “I’m concerned that this is not the time to do anything like this. That it is not appropriate. And if we are going to do this, we need to give the public some time to see what we’re doing.”
Radack echoed Cagle’s comments, saying he thought Jackson was doing an outstanding job and noting that the county commissioners had just passed the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget by a vote of 5-0.
Jackson has been with the county for more than 30 years and had been county budget officer since 2011. He had planned to retire within two years.
On Tuesday, Jackson agreed to stay on temporarily until the county could select a replacement. Judge Lina Hidalgo offered to allow him to stay with the county in another capacity if a suitable position could be found.