Breckenridge Texan

O’Dell appointed, sworn in as new County Treasurer

O’Dell appointed, sworn in as new County Treasurer
October 30
12:10 2023

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

Mary O’Dell was appointed as the new Stephens County Treasurer by the County Commissioners in a special-called meeting Monday morning, Oct. 30. 

O’Dell was sworn in after the meeting, with her husband, County Commissioner Eric O’Dell, by her side and other courthouse employees in attendance. The appointment was unanimous by commissioners David Fambro, Mark McCullough and Will Warren and County Judge Michael Roach; Eric O’Dell was not present for the meeting.

For the past 16 years, O’Dell has been the assistant treasurer for the county. Her appointment is through the end of 2024. The county will have an election next year to fill the rest of the unexpired County Treasurer’s term, which will end on Dec. 31, 2026. Filing for the unexpired term will begin on Nov. 11, 2023, and continue through Dec. 11, 2023. O’Dell or any other qualified citizen may file to run for the unexpired term.

Mary O’Dell, center, was appointed to the position of Stephens County Treasurer at a special-called meeting on Monday, Oct. 30. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

The appointment follows the resignation of Sharon Trigg, who resigned last week after the commissioners passed a new courthouse animal policy making it illegal for pets to be in the courthouse. Trigg was the caretaker for a cat known as Thomas the Courthouse Cat, who had lived at the courthouse for the past 10 years after former County Judge Gary Fuller brought him in as a stray kitten. Trigg took Thomas home to live with her after resigning.

Trigg’s resignation was official at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, according to her letter of resignation.

On Monday afternoon, after Trigg had informed Roach of her intention to resign, the commissioners had an emergency meeting. At that meeting, they appointed District Clerk Christie Coapland to assist with payroll duties. At that time, they postponed appointing a new treasurer until Monday, Oct. 30.

The new policy also forced the Justice of the Peace’s office staff to stop bringing Justice the sheepadoodle to the office. Justice was brought in to assist with the children who are often in the courtroom for family cases. Although he wasn’t yet trained as a therapy or service dog, Justice was used to help alleviate anxiety of those in the JP’s office for legal proceedings, Justice of the Peace Steve Spoon said last year when the dog was first brought to the office.

On Monday morning, employees in the JP’s office said that they are trying to transition Justice to staying at home during the day. Although Thomas the cat lived at the courthouse full-time, Justice went home with an employee every evening.

The new policy also makes it illegal for anyone to feed animals on county property, including outside the courthouse. Roach said the food left on the courthouse steps attracts wild animals that have damaged the ground around the foundation of the building, leading to animals being able to get inside the basement.

At Monday’s meeting, the commissioners also voted to update the county’s signature card on the Clear Fork Bank account and to allow O’Dell to apply for a credit card for the County Treasurer to use as needed. The current credit card is in Trigg’s name.


Cutline, top photo: Mary O’Dell is sworn in as the new County Treasurer by Stephens County Judge Michael Roach, left, while her husband, Stephens County Commissioner Eric O’Dell, looks on. Mary O’Dell was appointed to the position during a special-called county commissioners meeting Monday, Oct. 30. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)



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