Help for injured county employee OK’d

By Lillian Bowe

Staff writer

Roosevelt County commissioners have approved a plan that will allow co-workers to donate vacation time to Leroy Manzanares, who is still recovering from a head injury sustained last month during an inmate escape.

Manzanares was hit in the head with a pickax in July by murder suspect Senovio Mendoza Jr., who was part of an inmate work detail at the fairgrounds.

Mendoza Jr. was captured later that day near Sudan, Texas.

Commissioners approved a plan Aug. 5 that allows county employees to donate up to 16 hours of vacation time to Manzanares.

As of Friday, county employees have not donated time, but Interim Roosevelt County Manager Jena Wilbanks said she sent out an email to employees to remind them and hopes employees will come forward.

Wilbanks said the workman’s compensation Manzanares receives covers 67 hours of the 80 hours he works in a pay period.

“What happened to him was not fair at all. We don’t want him to have to use his own sick leave for what has happened to him,” Wilbanks said.

“He really deserves it,” County Commission Chairman Kendell Buzard said.

“We want to support our employees and create an atmosphere that we are helping people. We want to make sure our employees feel valued,” Wilbanks said.