Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-329 Page: 3 of 4
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The Honorable Chris D. Prentice - Page 3
commissioners court. See TEX. CONST. art. V, 18 (granting the commissioners court jurisdiction
over county business); see also Guynes v. Galveston County, 861 S.W.2d 861, 863 (Tex. 1993)
(noting the authority of the commissioners court). An individual county commissioner, like other
county officers, has only the powers expressly conferred by the Texas Constitution or statutes or
necessarily implied therefrom. See Tex. Att'y Gen. Op. No. JC-0131 (1999) at 2. An individual
commissioner may have certain powers as an ex officio road commissioner for his or her precinct.
See TEX. TRANSP. CODE ANN. 252.003 (Vernon 1999). "Under the direction of the commissioners
court, an ex officio road commissioner is responsible for the vehicles, tools, and machinery
belonging to the county and placed in the commissioner's control by the court." Id. 252.006(a).
However, the powers granted to a commissioner as an ex officio road commissioner pertain solely
to laying out, construction, and building of roads and bridges. See id. 252.006(b). These powers
have no relationship to, and do not include the authority to use public equipment to dig or fill graves
in a private cemetery. See id.
In sum, a commissioners court, as a body, may authorize the use of county labor and
equipment solely for a public purpose. An individual commissioner, acting apart from the
commissioners court, may not use county labor and equipment to open and close graves in a private
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: JC-329, text, 2001; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth274638/m1/3/: accessed March 23, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.