During closed session at its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, the Wharton County Commissioners discussed the future employment of its maintenance supervisor.
Greg Palmisano, 55, of Boling, was unanimously voted into the position by commissioners back in May, replacing retired, longtime supervisor, Paul Shannon.
On Oct. 14, Palmisano was arrested on a stolen vehicle charge following a traffic stop.
While conducting the traffic stop, the Wharton County Sheriff’s Department discovered a felony warrant was issued for the arrest of Palmisano by the Beaumont Police Department for unauthorized use of a vehicle.
He was taken into the custody of the Wharton County Jail at 8:33 p.m. and released on a $5,000 surety bond.
Palmisano was placed on paid administrative leave while elected officials, through the guidance of the county attorney, deliberated on the matter.
Commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday, Oct. 28 to begin discussion on the personnel matter, but failed to take any action.
On Monday, following the court’s closed session deliberation, Wharton County Judge Phillip Spenrath motioned that the county terminate Palmisano’s employment.
“I make a motion that we terminate the interim maintenance supervisor effective at the end of today, and that we not claw back any paid benefits that were paid up through this month,” Spenrath said.
The motion received a second, and was carried with unanimous support.
Courthouse washing and painting bid awarded
During the same meeting, commissioners awarded two bids to Mid-Continental Restoration Co. INC for pressure washing the courthouse limestone and mortar, and the repair, cleaning and painting of all courthouse windows, doors and down spouts.
The court looked to retired maintenance supervisor and now, the county’s contracted maintenance consultant Paul Shannon for guidance on the historical courthouse work.
Shannon’s recommendation to the court was to award Mid-Continental Restoration’s bid due to the company’s experience in maintaining historical monuments and buildings.
“I think the courthouse is the Taj Mahal of the county,” Shannon said. “And we can’t afford to have somebody do their first case on cleaning limestone and screw it up, or have the possibility of something bad happening.”
The two bids totaled $264,038.55, which is over the current budgeted amount.
“There is $50,000 for repairs and painting to the gutters, down spouts and windows of the courthouse, and in the upcoming 2022 budget, we budgeted another $50,000 for the pressure washing of the walls,” Spenrath said.
After discussion, commissioners awarded the Mid-Continental Restoration bid under the condition of negotiating the final contract.
For more information, or to view meeting minutes and agendas, visit the Wharton County website.