Quorum Court Plans to Investigate Bridges, Prosecutor’s Office Will Not

Washington County Considers Bridge Repairs_-6105102429042751174
WASHINGTON COUNTY — The Washington County Quorum Court will conduct its own investigation into the safety of county bridges.

At Thursday night’s meeting, justices of the peace decided the investigation will be handled by a two person team: Dan Short, a former state police investigator and Judge Marilyn Edward’s current chief of staff, and JP Eva Madison.

County Judge Edwards says she wants to get to the bottom of this issue. Edwards also told KNWA/Fox 24 she trusted what her staff told her about the bridges’ safety.

“I asked my people, I said, whenever they started talking, I said are you sure that everything’s alright? And they said everything’s fine. I took their word for it. Just like I’d take your word for it. I trust people till I’m told something different and then I don’t trust people after they don’t tell me the truth.”

A road department employee filed a lawsuit against Edwards and the county late last year, claiming two county bridges were not properly built, and are unsafe.

The county originally asked the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office to investigate this matter, but Friday, the office announced it will not do it. Prosecutor Matt Durrett says the allegations are a civil matter, not criminal.

“After reviewing everything and looking into the matter I couldn’t see anything that appeared to be criminal in nature, I didn’t see any allegations of criminal wrongdoing. There was nothing in there that would point to any criminal activity going on,” Durrett said.

Now the county judge’s chief of staff and JP Eva Madison plan to move forward with the investigation into bridge safety. Friday, County Attorney Steve Zega drafted an emergency ordinance which will give the quorum court the authority to conduct the investigation. The court will consider the ordinance at a meeting Monday night.

Justice of the Peace Eva Madison Will Serve As Co-Investigator Into Washington County Bridges

UPDATE: Attorney General Leslie Rutledge Will Not Investigate Washington County Bridges

Video Appears to Show Washington County Bridges Built Improperly

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