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Jun 27, 2013 7:08 PM by Caroline Flores - cflores@kristv.com

Kleberg County Stops Prosecuting Cases for Federal Government

KLEBERG COUNTY - Since the 80's, Kleberg County has prosecuted a large amount of cases from the Sarita Checkpoint for the federal government.

As part of the arrangement, the county had to use tax payer dollars to pay for federal detainees jail housing, medical treatment, and even getting them an attorney.

"We were doing that - their job - with the good intent that we were gonna get reimbursed 100 percent. And we were for a few years," said Kleberg County Commissioner Romero Lomas.

Well in 2004, the Federal Government scaled-back its reimbursments. Last month the county was told it will not be reimbursed for any costs after 2010.

"It's just like asking you to work for free," said Lomas.

Lomas says overall the federal government has taken over $3 million of taxpayer money that they will not get back.

"That means that we're supplementing the Federal Government. Enough is enough. And we put a stop to it on a 4 to 1 vote," said Lomas.

So the County Commissioners made the decision that starting July 1st, the county will no longer do business with the feds.

"Tell the federal government, take your cases. We don't want to do them anymore because you're not paying us," said Lomas.

Lomas says any cases out of the Sarita Checkpoint will now be the federal government's responsibility.

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