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Judge calls Barrier ‘grossly careless,’ but allows her to remain in office. For now.

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Judge Stephen Ellis decided on Monday that Erath County treasurer Kimberly Barrier will remain in office following a lawsuit brought by County Judge Alfonso Campos seeking to have her removed.

Calling the three-day hearing “a very serious matter” and “hugely embarrassing” for the county, Judge Ellis gave a tongue lashing to county officials as he addressed the court.

“This county needs its officials and employees to resolve all of the issues that have been exposed during this hearing,” he said. “There is enough blame to go around.”

He saved his harshest criticism, however, for Barrier.

While addressing her directly, the judge told her that she had been “grossly careless” in her responsibilities.

“I’m going to enter orders here that you probably aren’t going to like and if you don’t follow them, I’m going to remove you (from office) without another hearing,” he told her.

Then he ordered Barrier to meet with Judge Campos, a designated commissioner, county auditor, county attorney and attorneys from both sides by July 31.

“I’m not going to tell you how to solve the issues, but you have to try for everyone concerned,” he said.

Barrier was also ordered to stay current with her elected duties “timely” and “properly” or face immediate removal from office.

“There will be no more excuses,” Judge Ellis told her.


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