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Coleman, Travis work out deal on Davenport

Profile image for By Bj Lewis
By Bj Lewis

Denton County Sheriff Will Travis and County Commissioner Hugh Coleman have come to an agreement that will allow recently fired jail administrator Roy Davenport to continue his new job overseeing inmate work crews.

Davenport’s hiring last week by commissioners had sparked sharp rebukes from Travis, who responded to the move with accusation-laden e-mails to county officials.

Travis had vowed not to hold Davenport’s license or allow him to pick up, transport or manage inmate activities in his new position in Coleman’s precinct road and bridge crew.

But Coleman said Tuesday he and Travis had come to a mutual agreement. Coleman said the sheriff had agreed to maintain oversight of Davenport’s jailer’s license and would allow him to pick up inmates.

“I think it will be beneficial to all parties,” he said. “It’s great the sheriff will allow us to use inmates. It helps lessen the financial burden on the county to allow us to have that extra help.”

Coleman said there were no concessions made other than “all parties trying to do the right thing.”

Travis said in an e-mail that the matter had been resolved.

“I am strongly committed to working with each County Commissioner and each county department in order to be fiscally responsible and act in the best interests of the taxpayers of Denton County,” Travis said in the e-mailed statement. “This was clearly a miscommunication with human resources regarding the status of an employee separation. [Coleman] and I have reached a satisfactory agreement on the matter.”

When contacted Tuesday, Davenport had no comment.

Davenport, who had worked more than 20 years with the sheriff’s office and was assistant chief deputy overseeing the jail, was fired abruptly last month by Travis.

Travis did not give any reason for the termination, telling the Denton Record-Chronicle, “I don’t have to have any reason.”

The sheriff agreed to allow Davenport to remain on the payroll while he worked out his medical coverage and retirement, but he balked when Coleman hired Davenport to oversee the inmate work crews.

“This was a clear clandestine effort to circumvent my authority,” Travis said in an e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the Record-Chronicle.

Travis had sent the e-mail to human resources director Amy Phillips and commissioners, saying he had not received prior notice about the hiring.

BJ LEWIS can be reached at 940-566-6875 and via Twitter at @BjlewisDRC.