The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Letters to the editor

February 19, 2014

Feb. 16 — Letters to the Editor

GREENVILLE — Tittle a champion

To the editor:

The Herald-Banner hosted a very informative debate between the two candidates for district judge. We have two very good judges who are each doing a good job in his respective court.

Judge Tittle does an excellent job in the district court because he has practiced in it for over 13 years. Further, he is the only district judge and candidate we have who is board certified in criminal law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, an accomplishment achieved by less than two percent of Texas attorneys.

Judge Bench does an excellent job in the county court because he has been in it as a judge for over seven years handling juvenile cases and probate cases. The courts handle very different matters and levels of offenses. I do not want either court to change.

Judge Tittle has been a champion for Hunt County taxpayers as he has advocated since 2011 to get the other judges to agree and hold a public meeting to review why Hunt County spends so much on criminal defense lawyers.

Despite the requests, no public hearing has been held. The two issues are the high hourly rate we pay and the fact that we do not have limits on the hours the defense lawyers can charge the county. I encourage all the judges to publicly meet and discuss this important taxpayer issue.

 If most other counties in Northeast Texas pay less than we do, including Rockwall County, the issue needs to be addressed. Thank you, Judge Tittle, for bringing this to the attention of voters so that we know the facts that differentiate the candidates and their position on the issue.

Graham Sweeney

Quinlan

Look at records

To the editor:

I have represented the Hunt County Community Supervision and Corrections Department (formerly known as the Adult Probation Department) for approximately 25 years.

 Until Judge Tittle took the bench, my representation of the department was quite sporadic, dealing primarily with contract and employment issues and generating very little in the way of attorney’s fees. After Judge Tittle took the bench in January of 2011, that significantly changed.

As the attorney for the department, I feel compelled to address certain representations made in Judge Tittle’s campaign ad appearing in the Feb. 10 edition of the Herald-Banner. In his ad, Judge Tittle states, “I also helped establish our probation department.” Not true. The probation department was established long before Judge Tittle was born.

In his ad, Judge Tittle states, “With my assistance, probation has not only balanced its $1.1 million budget, but it now has a $400,000.00 surplus.” Again, not true. The department’s budget is reviewed and approved annually by four judges.

 Judge Tittle has not once suggested any revision to the proposed budget of the department that was ever incorporated into an approved budget. Furthermore, the department maintained a surplus of over $410,000.00 before Judge Tittle ever took the bench.

Instead, due to his massive waivers of monthly probation supervision fees in contravention of applicable law, Judge Tittle has significantly reduced the department’s surplus.

Curiously, Judge Tittle equates the payment of taxes by the general, law-abiding public to the payment of monthly probation supervision fees that are required by law to be paid by criminals placed on probation.  Contorted analogy.

Finally, Judge Tittle says he wants to run on his record, but then characterizes those who want the public to know about his record as mudslingers. Judge Tittle’s waiver of probation fees without any evidence to support his implied finding of  “significant financial hardship” is part of his record, not mud. But you certainly don’t have to take my word for it. You can look at irrefutable court records.

Joe Weis

Greenville

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