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Archive 2002

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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Top Stories

Thursday, March 7, 2002

Matta fixing up signs following Galindo protest

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., March 7, 2002 -- A candidate for county judge in next Tuesday's Democratic  Primary election in Reeves County didn't realize that some of his signs  were not in compliance with state election rules, but said he has changed  the signs to meet state guidelines.

Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo said Wednesday that his opponent Louis Matta had violated several campaign rules. Galindo filed a formal complaint with Reeves County Sheriff Andy Gomez, who will then take the complaint to District Attorney Randy Reynolds.

"They had been measured to be in compliance, the printer was under the impression that they were," said Matta, about the allegation that his signs did not meet the election requirements because the word "for" in the sign was not at least one-half the type size of the words county, judge, which is in clear violation of Section 255.006, part c, section two of the Texas Election Code.

"The printer made a bigger `for' and we're just pasting it over the other one on the signs," said Matta.

Matta said that he and his campaign workers did not intentionally mean to break the law. "When the printer designed it, he was under the impression that he was in compliance with the law," said Matta.

The county judge also complained that flyers mailed out to Reeves County homes attacking him did not list the name of the group or individual paying for the mailings, which also in violation of the Texas Election Code.

Galindo cited Section 255.01 of the code, which deals with required disclosure on political advertising.

"I have no idea who mad those flyers that were distributed like that," said Matta. "My campaign committee had nothing to do with that," he said.

Matta said he had spoken to the sheriff about the issue.

"I'm hoping that as long as we try to comply and make things right, the district attorney will not fine me," said Matta. "I'm suspecting that it's part of the dirty politics that's been circulating around."

Matta also wanted to clarify reports that he had said top positions at the Reeves County Detention Center should be held by Pecos individuals only. Matta said he did not mean that the current officials in charge at the 2,000-bed detention center should be removed.

"I believe that RCDC management should move here and establish residency," said Matta. "I realize they are qualified, competent officials."

Hundreds of thousands of dollars are lost to Reeves County because those paychecks are not spent or invested locally, according to Matta.

Warden Rudy Franco was hired by Reeves County in 1995 after a series of prison escapes and riots had caused the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to remove about half their inmates from the then-600 bed facility due to a lack of confidence in county employees running the detention center. Franco, a former federal prison warden in the El Paso area, is currently Reeves County's highest-paid employee, but in the past five years the facility has been expanded to 2,000 beds, with another 960 beds currently under construction and due to be completed by the end of this year.

Matta did say that he would work to initiate a training program for qualified residents whereby they can qualify to become warden or assistant warden at the RCDC. "I think with time, we can have someone from our hometown in the top positions at the detention center," he said.

Council picks phone service, doctor for CJC

Staff Writer

PECOS, Thurs., March 7, 2002 -- The Town of Pecos City Council approved the final agreement  with Inmate Communications & Hospitality Inc., of Midland, for  the inmate phone system at the Pecos Municipal Criminal Justice  Center during a special meeting early this afternoon at City Hall.

City Attorney Scott Johnson went over the contract with the Council before they approved the agreement which has a term of three years.

Inmates were moved into the new 98-bed Criminal Justice Center last month, but several items, including the installation of regular phone service, are still to be completed. The CJC was build by the city to house both Pecos Police Department prisoners and those being held for trial in U.S. District Court in Pecos by the U.S. Marshal's Serivce.

The Council also approved the lowest bid for physician services at the new detention facility.

"We had two bids and we recommend the lower of the two," City Manager Carlos Yerena said.

The two bids came from Dr. Orville Cerna and Dr. Haitham Jifi with Cerna turning in the lowest bid of $450 per week.

McKinney explained that the doctor would go into the detention facility once a week to see each inmate that needs medical attention.

Jifi currently is the physician that is working with the Reeves County Jail facility.

Also on the agenda for the special meeting was discussion on bids for work on the city swimming pool, located next to Rocket Park.

The Council decided to table that agenda item until the regular meeting next week for more information.


PECOS, Thurs., March 7, 2002 -- High Wednesday 80. Low this morning 42. Forecast for  tonight: Mostly cloudy. Lows 45 to 50. South winds 10 to 15 mph. Friday:  Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs near 80. Southwest winds 15 to 25 mph.  Friday night: Partly cloudy: Breezy and cooler. Lows in the mid 30s.  Saturday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Highs near 60. Sunday: Partly cloudy. Lows  in the upper 20s. Highs in the lower 60s.


Norine J. Hoover, Ann Shaw, Max Stook and Ernest Vargas

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