Thank you for allowing me to serve as 196th Judicial District Judge. It is an honor to serve as Hunt County’s first-ever elected, conservative Republican District Judge. Prior to this public service, I served Hunt County as a felony prosecutor for ten years in the Hunt County District Attorney’s Office where I advocated for Hunt County victims in just about every type of case, including capital murder cases. In the over ten thousand cases that I have been involved in, I have had just a few adverse decisions by the appellate courts. That is a phenomenal record, and I attribute that in large part to the fact that I am Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, an achievement held by less than two percent of Texas attorneys.
We have accomplished dramatic achievements in the last few years, including resolving thousands of cases and reducing the backlog of cases; reducing the maximum wait-time for trials for inmates in our jail from over three years to less than one year; presiding over a record number of jury trials each year; creating the first-ever optional, night-court; submitting a reduced budget each year; spending approximately forty percent less taxpayer dollars on criminal defense than the other district court; creating the first-ever standing orders in Hunt County family law cases to ensure the protection of children; appointing CASA volunteers to advocate for the welfare of children; ensuring that probationers pay restitution to Hunt County victims before paying money into a surplus probation fee account; and separating our civil and criminal cases so that children waiting to be adopted and parents going through a divorce are not required to sit in the courtroom with violent felons.
Although I cannot discuss pending matters or matters likely to come before me, I can address my administrative and budgetary goals as they relate to probation. First, probation is primarily a self-funded state department that the four judges create and that Hunt County has no obligation to fund. With my help, probation has not only balanced their $1.1 million budget, but they are now running about a $400,000.00 surplus. Most fiscally conservative Republicans believe that when government taxes and collects too much, it needs to stop. Second, I have fewer people on probation than our other court because I have sent more defendants to prison. Third, my administrative goals are to have probation focus on collecting restitution for Hunt Count victims. Finally, all my decisions are based on the law and ethical requirements. When I learned that probationers were making unauthorized payments to buy off their community service at the YMCA on which my opponent serves as the Chairman of the Board, I immediately ended it. I imposed ethical restrictions that no probationers out of my court could make such payments and that no probationers were authorized to perform community service at any agency on which one of our judges serves as an officer or on which he has a personal interest.
We are not going to stop with these achievements. We continue to innovate our procedures to ensure the law is strictly and fairly applied in ever more efficient and cost-effective ways. Reducing the wait-time for a trial of an inmate in jail does not just save taxpayers about fifty dollars a day to house them, but it also reduces the number of hours we pay to court-appointed defense attorneys. Most importantly, my office and I will continue to treat litigants and participants with professionalism and respect because we are public servants and we work for you.
I appreciate your continued support, and ask for your vote in the March 4, 2014 Republican Primary!