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San Jacinto News Times - Local News

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County employee charged with dangerous drug possession, invalid drivers' license


COLDSPRING – Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed Monday that a parttime employee with the San Jacinto County Tax Assessor- Collector's office was arrested on June 8 and charged with possession of a dangerous drug and invalid drivers' license. According to a DPS spokesman, Brandi Sievertson was charged with the Class A misdemeanor and driving with an invalid drivers' license after DPS Trooper McKellar pulled her over in Shepherd. According to the DPS spokesman, Sievertson's file has been sent to the San Jacinto County Criminal District Attorney's office. "Any other information about the arrest and charges will have to come from them," the DPS spokesman said Monday. According to San Jacinto County Tax Assessor-Collector Kelly Selmer, the day of the incident she was attending a conference in Fort Worth and was not notified by anyone of the situation until 10 days after the fact. In a copy of an email obtained by the San Jacinto News-Times from Selmer to county officials Selmer states, "Ms. Martin (San Jacinto County Auditor) advised that a government employee is held at a higher standard and that if the charges against Sievertson had not been dropped she would need to be 'let go.' Martin said Monday she did tell Selmer that it is her contention that county employees should be held at a higher standard. Selmer said she contacted the sheriff's department shortly after lunch on June 18 and was advised that the charges had not been dropped. In her email, Selmer states, "I explained the situation to Sievertson and advised her that I was terminating her employment effective today (June 18)." Although Selmer stated in her email of June 18 that she had terminated Sievertson's employment, there was no record of that employment termination in the San Jacinto County Treasurer's office as of Monday. In an email to the San Jacinto News-Times on Monday, June 23, Selmer said, "Given the information I had been provided I felt it was important to discuss the situation with the county attorney. As it is doubtful that the case will be heard before Robert Trapp, County District Attorney elect is scheduled to be sworn in, I met and consulted with him on the situation last week. He confirmed that I was correct in not terminating the employee at this time." Continuing, Selmer said, "I have no further comments or explanations at this time as this is part of an ongoing case and the employee has advised that she is filing a formal complaint with DPS and seeking legal counsel." Sievertson is a part-time employee in the tax assessorcollector's office since March 31, 2014 when she was hired by Selmer. According to San Jacinto County Treasurer Angie Beard, Sievertson was given and passed a drug test before being hired, just as all county employees are. "It's up to the person doing the hiring to get a background check before hiring. We only do drug testing and she did pass a drug test," Beard said. Selmer said Sievertson "passed the county required drug screen and background check prior to her beginning her duties on the tax office." However, if a background check was done, Selmer did not share it. According to Selmer, Sievertson is not involved with the deposit process as a part-time employee. "She does not calculate deposits nor does she physically take the deposits to the bank. Her daily collections are verified to the system-generated report on a daily basis," she said.


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