A lightning strike caused extensive damage to communications, surveillance and computer equipment at the Schleicher County Courthouse and Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, May 3rd. Word of the damage came during Monday’s meeting of the Schleicher County Commissioners Court.

The damage came as a series of intense thunderstorms pushed through Eldorado late Wednesday evening, continuing through Thursday. The storms sparked grass fires in several parts of the county including along CR 117 and near CR 404 and FM 1828.

County Treasurer Jennifer Henderson explains that the courthouse was back up and running by Friday, but said that courthouse personnel were still finding electrical damage on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Henderson told the county commissioners on Monday that the battery backup system attached to the county’s computer server saved it from damage and data loss.

The lightning strike, apparently near the county jail also knocked out the Sheriff’s Department’s 9-1-1 system as well as radio equipment. The massive electrical surge then traveled underground via a copper conduit from the jail to courthouse where the jail’s computer network is housed.

The total cost of the damage has yet to be determined, Henderson said.

In other business, the commissioners heard from Road Superintendent Roland Garcia who advised that his crews are completing road work in Precinct #1.

The commissioners then called for bids for a transport load of unleaded gasoline.

Judge Charlie Bradley advised the commissioners that Tom Mead, a military contractor had asked for a three-year contract so that military special forces training can be conducted within the county, similar to the series of training classes that have been carried out here in recent years. The three-year program is slated to begin next year.

The commissioners approved Mead’s request and Judge Bradley will prepare a written response.

The commissioners also gave their approval to the Work Ready Communities Program and expressed their continued support for the Head Start Program.

Judge Bradley then advised the commissioners that the roof at the County Museum has practically collapsed due to water pooling on the roof during recent rains. Bradley said he will be getting an estimate on the cost of repairs.

Lucio Gets His Bond Money Back

In a matter related to earlier meetings, County Attorney Clint Griffin advised The Eldorado Success that Judge Charlie Bradley released a $1,000 cash bond to Rey Lucio on April 17th.

Lucio, who was convicted by a Schleicher County jury in 2017 of harassing a local woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to pay a $2,000 fine plus court costs. The county has been holding his bond money pending payment of the fine and court costs.

In a letter addressed to Lucio on April 17th, Griffin referred to a letter Lucio had sent to County Clerk Mary Ann Gonzales on November 29, 2017 in which he stated his intention to use the money from the cash bond to pay toward the fine.

Griffin told Lucio in his letter that his cash bond was being returned and said that the court expects him to pay the balance of fines and court cost by May 15th, or face collection and enforcement proceedings.

Lucio still owes $2,222.75 according to records in the County Clerk’s office

County Judge Charlie Bradley presided over Monday’s meeting with Commissioners Johnny Mayo, Lynn Meador and Matt Brown in attendance. Commissioner Kirk Griffin was absent.

The next meeting of the Schleicher County Commissioners Court is slated for 9 a.m. on Monday, May 21st, in the first floor meeting room of the county courthouse.