By JUDY SHERIDAN
Parker County Public Information Officer Joel Kertok said he spoke with Treasurer Jim Thorp on Monday. If he knew it would be the last time he would see Thorp alive, he would have ended their conversation much differently.
“I’ve worked with Jim for 12 years,” he said. “If I’d known I’d never see him again, I would have given him a hug or something. It’s so shocking and sad to lose a friend and coworker.”
The 50-year-old Thorp died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on Tuesday. On his way to a lunch engagement, he reportedly walked into Tri Cities Urgent Care Clinic in Willow Park with chest pains and collapsed. He was transferred to Weatherford Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
Thorp’s funeral services are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Friday at Aledo United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Oak and Pecan streets in Aledo.
Prompted by the sudden death, Parker County Commissioners met in emergency session Wednesday to authorize Chief Deputy Treasurer Dawn Norfleet to temporarily oversee operations until commissioners determine a long-term solution.
The court voted 4-0, with Commissioner Dusty Renfro absent, to authorize the chief deputy to sign any necessary documents and secure a temporary short-term bond, payable to the county judge. In addition, commissioners authorized the judge as a secondary signatory on any documents needed to continue operation of the treasurer’s office.
The emergency action was taken to “make sure there are no gaps in operation,” according to County Judge Mark Riley.
County Attorney John Forrest said the court’s authorization officially recognized the chief deputy’s “de facto” status as a signatory, ensuring that financial agencies would also do so.
While the county treasurer is elected, the chief deputy is appointed.