Parker County —
In Parker County, the highest paid elected officials are the judges, Jerry Buckner, of County Court at Law 1 and Charles Benjamin Akers, of County Court at Law 2, whose salaries are set by the state legislature.
Both judges make the same amount, $139,000 a year.
Buckner has been a judge for four years. He has a bachelor of science in economics and sociology from Northwestern State University and a law degree from Baylor Law School. Buckner has been licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas and is board certified as a specialist in both criminal law and family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
Buckner has served as felony prosecutor for the State of Texas and as chief prosecutor and district attorney for Tarrant County. He has logged more than 1,500 hours of continuing legal education with the State Bar of Texas including more than 200 hours of alternate dispute resolution training. He has received the highest possible rating for legal ability and ethical standards as published in the Martindale-Hubbell Directory.
Buckner has 37 years of experience as a trial lawyer and has conducted more than 500 district court jury trials to a jury verdict.
Akers has been a county judge since 2004. He has a bachelor’s in business administration, a bachelor’s in accounting and a minor degree in computer science from Simpson College in Iowa. Akers has a law degree from the University of Houston, has been admitted to the Texas State Bar and is a certified public accountant. He is board certified as a specialist both in estate planning and probate law and in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Akers is also certified as an attorney and guardian Ad Litem by the State Bar of Texas.
Akers has been a prosecutor for Nueces County and Parker County. He worked for a civil law firm in Arlington for five years and then practiced law with his wife, Marcy for 10 years in a firm the couple opened in Weatherford.
In his job as a judge, Akers said he spends most of his time in court hearing cases — both criminal and civil — and in his office preparing to hear cases. “A lot of my cases have to do with family law,” he said, “divorce, child support, custody and the division of property.”
The highest paid non-elected official is auditor Mike Rhoten, who makes $86,500. The auditor is appointed every two years by the district judges, who set his or her salary. Rhoten began his third two-year term in April.
“Our office has the independent oversight of all of the county’s books and records and is responsible for the strict enforcement of government finances according to state statutes,” he said.
Rhoten is a graduate of Weatherford College and Texas Wesleyan University, where he received a bachelor’s of business administration with a major in accounting. He has served as director of finance for the City of Weatherford and city manager for the City of Granbury and is the former owner of a real estate business.
Other top county salaries are:
County Judge Mark Riley, $94,500 supplemented by $15,000 from the state from fees collected in the local court; Sheriff Larry Fowler, $94,500; Assistant District Attorneys Robert Duboise, Kathleen Catania, Edward LeWallen and Jeff Swain, $90,609; County Attorney John Forrest, $89,250; County Commissioners George Conley, Joe Brinkley, John Roth and Jim Webster, $84,000.