The phone system at the Brooks County Courthouse has been down for more than a week, forcing employees to use their cell phones to reach people.
In recent weeks, 3News has reported the current financial crisis in Brooks County. Services have been cut and some county workers have lost their jobs. Now, working without phones, employees at the courthouse in Falfurrias have had additional issues to deal with.
"The phone, it just, it says restart or connect, and it's not doing any of the above, " said Noe Guerra, Jr., Brooks County district clerk. "And if you pick it up, it's deader than a door nail so, it doesn't work at all. There's no function at all."
There is no telling how many phone calls have been missed, as people calling into the courthouse have not been able to leave messages because the courthouse cannot receive messages.
Brooks County officials say the reason the phone system is down is because of a dispute with the provider, Greenwire out of San Antonio. Officials say Greenwire did not comply with an agreement the county has with them.
The county reportedly has an outstanding balance of some $36,000 to the company, so until the full payment is made, there will be no phone service.
"It is, because you know you're trying to do business and you can't. You know, I don't know, we should have our doors closed," Guerra said. "I mean, if we don't have a phone system to communicate, might as well just have the doors closed. Why are we here?"
The lack of phone service has also impacted the court system. District Attorney Carlos Garcia said that the phones being down at the Brooks County Courthouse has made it difficult to communicate with attorneys. He said it's hard enough to run a court when everything is working, and being able to use the phone is pretty essential.
The District Attorney's Office has had to field calls out of Jim Wells County, but not everyone is aware of that office and number.
A County Commissioners Court meeting is scheduled for Thursday morning. The county hopes it can try and get the issue resolved soon.
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