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Jo Clifton is the Politics Editor for the Austin Monitor.
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Jefferies to resume role at county
Friday, April 14, 2017 by Jo Clifton
The Travis County Commissioners Court voted this week to hire Roger Jefferies as the county executive for Justice Planning, a job he previously held for nine years. Jefferies left Austin in February for New York City, where he took a position as the executive director of the Mayor’s Task Force on Behavioral Health and the Criminal Justice System. Jefferies told the Austin Monitor that he loves his current job, and one of the reasons he is returning to Travis County is related to a family health issue. His first day back on the job will be April 28. According to information provided by the office of County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, during his previous service Jefferies was instrumental in working with elected officials and stakeholders on jail population reduction strategies, the creation of the Austin/Travis County Sobriety Center and responding to the challenges posed by the closure of the Austin Police Department DNA crime lab. Eckhardt said in a written statement, “We are enjoying a historically high level of collaboration between our civil and criminal courts, our District Attorney and County Attorney, and our cities including the City of Austin. Roger has been a key player in fostering that collaboration. With Roger’s insight and innovative approaches, the Commissioners Court looks forward to continuing to build trust and serving our residents in this time of political and fiscal challenge to our system of justice.” Jefferies said that he would be working on ways to make the courts run more efficiently, looking at pressures on the jail population and dealing with the DNA lab issue as well as looking for efficiencies in indigent defense.