She welcomes the investigation. That's what Ballard County Judge Executive Vickie Viniard says about the FBI looking into her connection with former treasurer Belinda Foster.
This is the first time we're hearing from her.
Viniard says she's assisting in investigations, but also has to protect herself by hiring a personal attorney. Auditors and investigators are still looking into the county's audits and budgets from the past two years. When it comes to the investigation, Viniard says, once Foster was investigated, Viniard expected it.
"Anybody that works in the office and worked with our county treasurer, I’m sure, is going to be investigated," Viniard says, "So, that's not a surprise to me.”
Viniard also appointed a deputy judge executive, former Ballard County Sheriff Todd Cooper. After the appointment, it was the fiscal court's responsibility to decide a salary. It made a motion to hold a special meeting Thursday to decide an appropriate salary. Magistrate Stonnie Dennis said he had concerns about the appointment, and that’s why they didn't write down an amount Monday.
“To me, it’s not useful expenditure of that money (to have a deputy judge executive), because we have people who could do that job. That's my opinion," Dennis said.
Although Cooper has been appointed as a county employee, he cannot run fiscal court. That will stay one of judge Viniard’s responsibilities.