Critics question double-dipping by Williamson County general counsel

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Critics are questioning the private law practice of a Williamson County Attorney’s Office assistant, who earns a six-figure salary from his government job, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Jason Nassour, a partner in law firm Keel, Nassour & Heilman in West Lake Hills, began working as general counsel for Williamson County Attorney Dee Hobbs in November 2017. As a private attorney transitioning to public work, Nassour, under state law, was allowed either to close his practice after completing pending cases or keep it open and take a 20 percent pay cut in his government salary.

But when Nassour began the steps of winding down his practice, he changed his mind.

“I was wrapping things up as quickly as I could and then realized certain things just don’t end,” Nassour told the newspaper.

That creates a thorny issue because Nassour is being paid above the state-designated threshold for a government attorney who continues in private practice. His salary should be capped at $112,000 rather than the $137,000 annual salary he currently gets, the Statesman reported.

Nassour earned $132,000 is his first year working for Williamson County, which he and Hobbs argue was allowed because he was in the process of closing his pending private-practice cases.

Hobbs told the newspaper he’ll ensure that Nassour doesn’t pass the salary limit for the 2019 fiscal year that ends in October. He said the county will file a waiver to keep the $29,000 difference between the state salary cap and what Nassour is actually on the books for.

 

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