Archives Menu|||Home Page|||Go to 1997|||
PECOS, Feb 27, 1995 - Who runs the Reeves County Law Enforcement Center?
That was the focal point of what ended up in heated exchanges during the
regular meeting of the Reeves County Commissioners this morning.
The four commissioners seemed to be mostly in the dark during the
discussion that involved County Judge Jimmy Galindo, Sheriff Andy Gomez
and LEC Warden Joe Trujillo.
Commissioner Herman Tarin asked at several points, "What are we talking
The discussion centered on who's in charge involving the hiring of Mark
Contreras Jr., for one of three new LEC lieutenant's spots created by
commissioners during a meeting earlier this month.
Contreras recently resigned from the Pecos police department.
Gomez said Trujillo was being forced by Galindo and County Attorney Bill
Weinacht to hire Weinacht's brother-in-law, Contreras, and that
discussion was an effort to discredit the sheriff.
Trujillo denied that he was being forced to do anything.
The third floor courtroom's spectator's area was full, with most of
those present apparently interested in this particular discussion.
The discussion began when Galindo moved up Item 13 on the agenda to
follow Item 4, - before approving Item 5, salary personnel changes -
since both items were pertinent to each other.
Item 13 was to discuss Reeves County/BOP (Bureau of Prison) Contract for
Galindo gave a lengthy history on exchange of letters between the county
and BOP, dating back to August 1993, with BOP expressing concern that a
single CEO (chief executive officer) be in charge of the LEC. Several
letters addressed the need to avoid interference by the sheriff or then
County Judge Mike Harrison in the operation of the LEC. A letter from
Harrison to the regional supervisor of BOP questioned that reference to
interference, and a return letter said that "Because you (Harrison) are
the signatory authority for the Intergovernment Agreement between Reeves
County and the Bureau of Prisons, we count on you to be ultimately
responsible for the contract and the facility's operation."
In a monitoring report in December 1993, filed after Trujillo had been
warden for three months, the BOP noted, "Interviews conducted with the
CEO, Executive Staff, Department Heads, and Line Staff reveal that the
CEO is routinely circumvented by Associate Wardens and Departments Heads
who present concerns regarding staff, and requests to hire or promote
job applicants directly to the county sheriff."
Under corrective action, BOP noted that "No later than Jan. 31, 1994,
the Contractor will submit documentation which ensures all Reeves County
Elected Officials, Reeves County LEC Executive Staff, Reeves County LEC
Department Heads, and Reeves County Line Staff have been made aware of
and will adhere to this requirement of the Statement of Work."
Trujillo wrote a letter on Jan. 29, 1994, addressing that situation. It
states in part, "The corrective action recommended by the team was that
I inform all parties involved that the Warden of the Reeves County Law
Enforcement Center is the Chief Executive Officer, to whom all employees
or units of management of the RCLEC are directly responsible. Further,
that any deviation from this provision of the statement of work will no
longer be tolerated. Any employee of the RCLEC who is found guilty of
this provision will be disciplined in accordance to policy."
Galindo referred several times to the fact that not allowing the Law
Enforcement Center's CEO to operate without interference in accordance
with BOP guidelines would be a breach of contract. He also noted he
asked the company that financed the expansion of the prison for their
interpretation of the matter and was told of the need for a CEO with
complete authority. "Specifically, CCMI was interested in the management
of the LEC by the Chief Executive Officer, without interference from the
Sheriff," Barry L. Friedman, president of the financing company, wrote
to Galindo and members of the commissioner's court last week.
"I'm not going to allow the contract to be breached," Galindo noted
emphatically and repeatedly. Gomez and Trujillo agreed that they would
and have been complying with what is known as the "statement of work" at
LEC as stated by BOP.
Gomez interjected that the judge was the one who was interfering,
against the wall and could not say anything different as he was being
forced to hire Contreras.
Gomez said Trujillo told him he was going to promote from within.
Gomez said Galindo brought Contreras' application to him personally -
apparently last Wednesday. Gomez contended that Contreras should start
from the bottom like everybody else and not be hired for one of the new
lieutenant's spots. That would be bad for morale, the sheriff said.
Galindo countered that he went to the sheriff's office with a copy of
the sheriff's personnel policy that supported lateral hiring, bringing
someone on staff from outside who is qualified for a job.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Dr. W. J. Bang noted that the sheriff's input in
hiring is very important.
Trujillo said he had two sergeants who would fill two of the
lieutenant's slots but a third sergeant was new to that position and did
not yet have the supervisory experience necessary for the lieutenant's
position. Therefore, he was seeking application for the third position.
The question was asked about the state law requiring the sheriff to be
in charge of the jail. Weinacht said the law goes to that point but the
county in its contract with BOP stipulated otherwise - the LEC is to be
under the control of a CEO. That is legal, he noted.
Gomez said he has something to say about the hiring of Contreras at the
LEC. He asked wouldn't the BOP want to know why he left the police
department? That information would by better discussed in executive
session, Galindo noted, when Bang asked what that information was.
Trujillo jumped up and said he had enough and that the sheriff has
continually interfered in his operations, forcing him to keep three
people on staff that he has wanted to fire. In just the past week,
Trujillo said he as received three memos from Gomez on personnel.
"I don't know what you are talking about," Gomez said.
Bang quickly interjected that "we need to do what is best for the
county" and need to deal with problems calmly and not in a
Galindo attempted to return to Item 5 on the agenda, on approving salary
and personnel changes, but it was decided to wait until Contreras could
be present for a closed session. That would be required since Gomez said
he had things to say about his possible employment.
In other matters, the county approved First National Bank as the
county's depositary and approved spending $1,400 for more pagers for the
Pecos Fire Department. Fire Chief Doug Cox said the fire department has
grown from an average of 35 to 41 and more expected to a full complement
of 44 as allowed by the city charter. This is because of more young
people here who want to be involved, Cox said.
The commissioners also approved a contract for detention of juvenile
offenders with Upshur County at $70 per day and adopted a resolution
supporting I-27 extension from Lubbock to I-10 through Midland-Odessa.
The court approved amendments to the Reeves County Personnel Policy.
"Salary changes will become effective on the first pay period following
the promotion," said Treasurer Linda Clark. "It's always been a policy,
that's why I want it in the Personnel Policy Manual."
In regards to the employee of the month, the employee will have his name
engraved on a plaque and publicized in the Pecos Enterprise.
The employee of the year will be entitled to three days off. Only the
employee of the year shall receive the days off.
PECOS, Feb 28, 1995 - "There goes a Joe Hancock horse," the late Buck
Jackson might announce about an especially fast cow pony breaking out of
the roping chute at the West of the Pecos Rodeo on a July 4th weekend.
Jackson, a longtime rodeo announcer, was himself as famous as the stud
horse Joe Hancock, a quarterhorse who never lost a race for a quarter
mile - and only one at a half mile. He died in 1943 at the age of 20,
after earning a reputation as the all-time greatest sire of roping
Half a century later, Charlie White stumbled onto a Joe Hancock colt
that has 25 percent of his famous great-great-granddaddy's bloodline.
White, a cowboy on the Anderson Ranch, was looking for a Hancock
gelding, not a stud prospect, when he bought Pig Creek Roan.
"He bought him more on his looks than his pedigree," said White's wife,
Karen. "However, when he got him home and researched his pedigree he
found, as one Hancock breeder from Arizona put it, that he had come into
possession of something akin to a rare antique car."
Cowboying all his adult life, White learned to like Hancock bred horses
from experience. They have good minds and lots of stamina.
"They are particularly durable, with lots of bone and muscle; an
important plus for this rough West Texas country," White said.
He rides "Sancho" as he has nicknamed the big red roan stallion, while
he performs daily chores on the ranch, gathering and moving cattle,
castrating calves and tipping horns on steer and old heifers.
Because Sancho is so broad, White has ordered a special saddle with a
wider tree to fit his back.
"He like to be ridden and to work cattle," White said.
When he's not breeding mares, Sancho is turned into the pasture with
geldings and treated just like them. But White does keep a mineral and
protein block in Sancho's private corral, along with plenty of hay.
This spring, the stud will be turned in a pasture with 20 mares. "With
warmer and longer days, mares are starting to cycle, and he knows it,"
Eleven months after they are bred, the mares will throw a colt and
mother it until weaning time. When they are six to seven months old,
colts will be penned so they can be fed, "halter broke" and gentled.
Sancho was a yearling when White located him on a West Texas ranch. He
paid $500 for the colt, who earns that back each time he services a mare.
"He is a good cowpony," said Gary Loftin, Anderson Ranch manager. "He is
young. He shows potential to be a sure-enough good cow horse. He is big
boned, and hopefully, his colts and he will be durable."
White said that he has had Sancho over two years and has trained him to
work cattle as well as stand at stud.
The stallion is no harder to handle than a gelding (castrated horse) "if
you teach them some manners when they are young," White said. "You don't
let them get away with anything."
Joe Hancock horses have a good mind and are very trainable, he said.
"They are calm mannered and have a willing attitude."
Sancho is a willing stud, but is still learning what is expected of him,
White said. He has bred some of White's ranch mares, as well as some
from California, Oklahoma, New Mexico and throughout Texas.
"He will probably breed some Anderson Ranch mares eventually," White
At age 3, Sancho weighs 1,430 pounds and stands 16 hands tall. He will
probably not grow broader and heavier until he is 5 or 6 years old.
White expects interest in Sancho's stud service to increase as breeders
around the country learn of his prospects.
"Breeders all over America and Canada are trying to start a Hancock
organization to promote this particular blood line," White said. "They
are starting a newsletter and are having Hancock horse sales. Through
them I will probably get quite a bit of business in the future."
PECOS, Apr 19, 1995 - The Reeves County Law Enforcement Center Detention
Facility, a title adopted on March 31 when it was changed in the
contractual agreement between the sheriff and Reeves County.
Reeves County Judge Jimmy Galindo said this morning that the
significance of the "modification" was not for the purpose of changing
the name, but rather to refer as the county building as a detention
Although the official name, now, is the Reeves County Detention
Facility, anyone answering the phone at the confinement facility will
answer, "Reeves County Detention Center," which, in reference can be
A spokesperson at the facility said that this is easier to say and it
The contract, which was signed by the Galindo, Sheriff Andy Gomez and a
representative from the Reeves County Clerks office, also stated that
the sheriff may still monitor the facility, but "will not interfere with
the operation of the facility or the decisions or actions of the CEO
(Chief Executive Officer, Warden Joe Trujillo)."
The stipulation was brought about following the events involving the
sheriff's termination of Trujillo as warden, following the warden's
firing of three LEC employees. The March 31 action came under the threat
by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to remove its 500-plus inmates due to the
center's instability among it's top personnel.
Along with the name change and with the help of Elliot Printing, the
RCDC is going through the process changing the institutional emblem to
reflect the new title on its letterheads and envelopes said Galindo.
He added that patches have also been ordered for the employees' uniforms
Employees have already been issued new I.D. tags, which are worn while
Leo Elliott, owner of Elliott Printing, stated that the letterheads and
envelopes are ready to print as soon as Warden Trujillo approves the
PECOS, Apr 18, 1995 - Memories come flooding back as she sits in her
living room in the home she has lived in since moving to Pecos in 1957.
Many know her from her monthly column which appears in the Golden Year's
edition, a supplement to the Pecos Enterprise.
Bonnie Cearley was born in Weatherford, Parker County, Texas. Her
father, N.W. Allphin, was a musician and music teacher.
The family moved to Fort Worth where she started school, the attended
schools in Ranger and Abilene.
She continued with her education at Abilene Christian Academy and
Abilene Christian College, now known as Abilene Christian University.
"My mother always wanted me to be a school teacher, but I got married
instead," said Cearley.
Cearley married John. F. Cearley in 1932 and the couple lived in Post
for 16 years where they had three children, Ralph Herndon, Marthana and
Ralph died at 2 1/2 years of age in 1936. The family moved to Fabens in
1948, where they lived for nine years.
"John was with the First National Bank, John Allen started school and
Marthana entered fourth grade and then graduated from Fabens High
School," recalls Cearley.
"We moved to Pecos in June of 1957," said Cearley. "John had come to
Pecos in October of 1956 as vice-president of First National Bank," she
Cearley has been a member of the Church of Christ since her early
teenage years. "For many years, when I was younger I taught in Sunday
school at all age levels, was very active in church, even though I
haven't done much in my later years," she said.
She first joined a federated study club in Post, the Woman's Culture
"I have been a member of Modern Study Club in Pecos since 1962, have
held all offices and committee chairs, some several times," she said.
Cearley has served on district level since 1970. She became a member of
the Order of the Eastern Star in 1943 in Post, where she was a member
for five years. Membership continued in Fabens for nine years and in
Pecos since 1961. She is also a charter member of Woman's Division of
the Chamber of Commerce. "I became a member of the Chamber of Commerce
when I had the shop, The Patchwork Place, and then became an individual
member since that time," she said.
"I became a member of the Ambassadors when that group was formed," she
She has been a member of the Pecos Business and Professional Woman's
Club since 1963, where she has served twice as president. She was named
Woman of the Year in 1980.
"John didn't like me to work, so I enjoyed staying home and taking care
of the children," she said. "When John Alan left to college, I started
working at the Pecos Daily News," she said.
"We had two papers in town at the time, that one and the Pecos
Independent," said Cearley. "I worked for several different publishers
and later went to work for a Seattle firm," she said.
Cearley had worked off and on since then, writing a column.
"I got my newspaper training at the Dispatch Newspaper in Post, where I
wrote special news and feature stories," said Cearley.
"Then when the owner and publisher went to World War II as a Naval
photographer, I became a regular employee and wrote everything from
classifieds to editorials," she said.
"Just four people put out a weekly paper, with everyone pitching in and
doing something," she said.
"I've done a lot of writing," said Cearley. "I enjoy writing poetry for
my own amusement or for a program, but I've never had anything
published," she said.
Cearley also enjoys doing embroidery and sewing. "For many years, I made
my own clothes and my daughter's also," she said.
"My mother and grandmother taught me to sew, embroider and handstitch at
an early age," she said.
"My mother always wanted me to be a school teacher and I tried it at
different times, but it just wasn't my cut of tea," she said.
"I'm actually a frustrated musician," said Cearley. "I always wanted to
be one. My mother just didn't like that idea; she said one in the family
is enough, but I feel like it's inside of me."
Cearley played in the band at Abilene Christian College, where she
showed her interest in drama and music.
"Even though I had great interest in both those things, I majored in
science and sociology," she said.
Cearley and her husband owned the Patchwork Place for several years. "My
daughter and her friends were taking painting lessons after John
retired," said Cearley.
"There really wasn't anywhere in town to purchase paints and things and
he decided to do something, so we put in the Patchwork Place," she said.
"We started out with art supplies and came up with picture framing. I
really enjoyed matting prints and mounting needlework," she said.
"I met a lot of people while the shop was open and enjoyed the work. I
kept it for seven years after my husband died, but then I got sick and
had to close it," she said.
Cearley says she has mixed feelings about leaving Pecos which she will
be doing sometime this summer. "Pecos has been good to me, I had some of
the happiest times here and some of the saddest times," she said.
"So, it's with mixed emotions that I go," she said. "Having been in the
same house for 29 years, so my roots go pretty deep."
Cearley will be moving to Brownwood with her daughter, Marthana, and her
son-in-law Coy Hudson.
"They have lived here since they got married and had two children," said
Cearley. "So I watched them grow up here," she said.
The grandchildren are named John Glenn and Brendan.
Her son, John Allan and his wife have two sons, John Allan and Nathan,
and one daughter, Christi Feldman.
Return to top
Return to Top
Copyright 1996 Pecos Enterprise
324 S. Cedar, Box 2057, Pecos TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321