Court

Recent title changes in the Temple city attorney’s office caused a hiccup: Assistant city attorneys could not prosecute cases in municipal court.

Only the deputy city attorney or the city attorney could do so.

“To make sure we all have the authority to prosecute in our municipal court, we need to (make) a change … to our municipal court chapter (of city ordinances),” Assistant City Attorney Amanda Rice said.

That change is nearly complete. The Temple City Council gave its first approval to allow an amendment to an ordinance allowing the city attorney to deputize assistant city attorneys to prosecute cases in municipal court. The vote was unanimous.

“This change will be to add an additional article to it and allow both assistant city attorneys and deputy city attorneys to both prosecute in the municipal court,” Rice said. “The city attorney will deputize both of those title groups to prosecute.”

The change will likely be finalized at the Council’s next meeting on Nov. 5.

Deputy and assistant city attorneys in Temple recently switched their titles. Previously, the city’s assistant city attorney was the department’s No. 2 person behind the city attorney while deputy city attorneys were below them.

Those titles were switched after the city’s annual compensation plan discovered that similar roles in comparable cities — such as Bryan, College Station, Georgetown and Waco — were flipped.

“Most cities have their upper-level attorneys, they have their city attorney and below that is their deputy city attorney and then you have your assistant city attorneys. But ours is flipped,” Rice said. “Because of this disparity, the job titles were switched to match what other cities have.”

Assistant city attorneys in Temple can have a minimum salary of $67,100 and a maximum salary of $110,739, according to the compensation study. That is a higher range than similar roles in Cedar Park and College Station while lower than that the salaries offered in Killeen, Georgetown, San Marcos and Waco.

Temple’s deputy city attorney salary can range from $78,270 up to $129,147, according to the compensation study. That is lower than comparable positions in Bryan, Georgetown and Waco while higher than the salary offered in College Station.