NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. — There’s a decision in the legal case pitting two-county officeholders against the Newton County Commission.

The judge has ruled that the recorder of deeds and treasurer are allowed to hire their own I.T. experts as long as they stay within their budgets. In 2020, each had hired Keel’s Consulting Service.

But commissioners wanted the offices to take part in a contract with Stonghold Data which was designed to handle I.T. work for all county offices.

The judge supported the claims of the county treasurer and recorder of deeds and ordered commissioners to pay legal costs in the case, which total more than $137,000.