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Commissioners met in executive session in the morning portion of the
meeting on Friday. A public session was held shortly after lunch and the
commissioners came to an agreement late in the afternoon.
After several motions were presented and died for lack of a second,
Precinct 3 Commissioner Herman Tarin made the motion to set Green's
salary at $45,000 annually and to seek approval from the Legislature to
allow the county-court-at-law judge to practice private law while
holding that office.
The motion was seconded by Precinct 2 Commissioner W.J. Bang, and with
Precinct 1 Commissioner Lupe Garcia voting "yes." Precinct 4
Commissioner Bernardo Martinez and Reeves County Judge Jimmy B. Galindo
voted "no" on the motion.
Currently, the Reeves County Court-at-Law Judge is not allowed to
practice private law while in office. A reversal on this decision would
have to be approved by the Texas Legislature, which meets only once
every two years. Their next meeting will be held in January of 1997.
Green sued Reeves County over the salary set by commissioners and won in
April before a 143rd District Court jury.
Commissioners had sought to eliminate the position in January of 1995,
but public protests resulted in the measure not being submitted to the
Legislature by state Rep. Gary Walker. Commissioners then voted in
August of 1995 to set Green's salary at zero, but later raised it to
$32,500 - the same level as Galindo's pay.
Green rejected the move, as well as his paychecks, while the case went
to court this past spring.
"I'd like to do this in an efficient and orderly manner," said Galindo
before beginning proceedings Friday. "I'd like to start out by setting
out the parameters of the analysis of setting the county-court-at-law
judge's salary and the issues that have come about from this analysis."
The issues listed by Galindo included job performance, case load,
comparable salaries and duties, populations of counties with comparable
populations, prior salaries of county court-at-law judges and the whole
issue of budget planning.
In all, 13 items were submitted as documented evidence.
The first issue discussed was the job performance.
At this time, County Attorney Bill Weinacht introduced a document
emphasizing guidelines in setting the salary. It stated that the salary
not be set to exceed 90 percent of the total salary paid the District
Judge, but must set it in excess of $32,500, which is what the jury
found during the trial.
In Green's court victory, the jury said commissioners should set the
salary at a "reasonable amount." The $32,500 salary commissioners voted
for last year was $21,000 below Green's previous pay level.
The first individual to give public input was Town of Pecos City
Attorney Scott Johnson, who had served as county attorney for nine years
between 1984 and 1992.
"You've already been told by a jury that you need to set the salary in a
reasonable amount and it's cost the county $10,500 to get to that," said
He told the court that the judge is available 24-hours a day, he doesn't
come in eight hours a day, but is on call at all times. He signs search
warrants for the police department at all hours of the day and night and
that his experience is beneficial to the citizens of the county.
"You need to look less at the individual and look at the duties he
performs, he deserves a salary that is commensurate with the job," said
Johnson. "He takes a large load off the district judge."
"I think the $32,500 is abusing discretion," he said.
"This would be extremely beneficial to you, keeping the county
court-at-law judge," said Weinacht. "We have a stack of files with
motion to quash, that you take to Green all the time."
Weinacht stated that he had not seen any of these files, since they were
done just between the attorney and Green himself.
"I file the same amount of motions to quash as any other lawyer,"
"But you haven't had any declined in several years, have you?" said
The motions to quash are files from repeat offenders and the county
attorney has not been privy to any of these, according to Weinacht.
"My office has never seen any of these motions to quash," said Weinacht.
"They're filed with the county clerk," said Johnson.
"You never sent me a copy of this and you should have," said Weinacht.
"That's a practice that you and Green started and it's been going for I
don't know how many years."
"It's nothing new," said Johnson.
"The point I'm making is that you and Green have your own way of doing
things," said Weinacht.
According to Weinacht, Johnson was benefiting from Green's job
"All you've done is discredit Judge Green since he's been in office and
he's bent over backwards in working with the lawyers," Johnson replied.
Weinacht also called Victorio Prieto, bailiff and Reeves County Sheriff
Deputy to confirm that fact that the county attorney's office had not
received any of these motions to quash.
Prieto stated that he goes through all the paperwork to ensure the
individuals are receiving the adequate protection needed.
He also stated that he had not seen any of these motions go through the
county attorney's office.
El Paso attorney Mario Gonzales, who successfully argued Green's case
before the district court jury in April, was also on hand to discuss the
"It's not the man, but the decision that needs to be looked at," said
Gonzalez. "The idea is to encourage quality lawyers to take the bench."
People would like to have a judge available and the public needs access
to the courts, according to Gonzalez.
"Justice delayed is justice denied," he said.
"Are you aware of any county court-at-law judges who practice private
law?" asked Galindo.
Gonzalez stated that it would be a wonderful idea if the county
court-at-law judge could practice private law and the commissioners
should think about submitting a request to the 1997 legislature. He also
offered his services in drawing up a resolution to present to the
legislature regarding this issue, since he has extensive experience in
Gonzalez added he would do this for the commissioners free of charge.
"Under these conditions even I would consider being a judge," said
He also stated that it should be proper procedure to serve copies of
everything to each other, meaning Johnson and Weinacht.
"I think it's sloppy not to," he said.
Other issues brought up were comparison with other counties, the
beginning salary of the county-court-at-law judge.
The salary of the county court-at-law judge was $40,000 when the court
was first established within Reeves County in 1976, said Green, who was
Reeves County attorney at that time.
Green said as of late this morning, he had not been formally contacted
by commissioners about the new offer. The judge said after he is
contacted, he would meet with Gonzalez to decide whether or not to
accept the new offer or take the issue back to court.
PECOS, TX. Aug. 26, 1996 - The Reeves County Grand Jury on Thursday indicted two persons on charges of criminal non-support and seven others on drug, burglary and forgery charges.
* James William Doosing for criminal non-support from May, 1994 to July,
1996. He allegedly failed to support his child. His bail was set at $10,000.
* Ricky Richard Huffman for criminal non-support of a child from December, 1993 to July, 1996, bail $25,000.
* Guadalupe A. Sanchez, possession of cocaine, more than 1 gram but under 4 grams, on Aug. 14, bail $10,000.
* Hector G. Pando for possession of cocaine, more than 1 gram but under 4 grams, on Aug. 14, bail $100,000.
* Santos Chavez Lopez for possession of heroin, less than 1 gram, April 29, bail $10,000.
* Manuel Martinez Salcido for possession of heroin, less than 1 gram April 29, bail $15,000.
* Jose Manuel Minjarez for possession of cocaine, more than 4 grams but less than 200 grams, May 16, bail $25,000.
* Sandy Flores Hernandez, burglary of habitation Sept. 17, intentionally entered a habitation with intent to commit theft and without consent of Lloyd Charles Chappell owner; bail $5,000.
* Thomas Marquez for forgery June 9, intentionally pass to Ernest Ballard at La Tienda Thriftway a check with intent to defraud; bail $5,000.
Gerardo Jacquez Cabello, 33, walked up to the Penitas Ranch
headquarters 25 miles south of Marfa and asked for food, said the
foreman, Mem Hall.
Hall said he recognized the escapee from his photograph in the Big Bend
Sentinel. After giving him a burrito, Hall called the sheriff's office.
Border Patrol agents using night vision devices spotted the fugitive
and captured him about midnight near a ghost town called Plata.
Cabello and a cellmate, Juan Manuel Zuniga, 28, of Ojinaga, Mex., used
a hacksaw blade to cut through steel bars in the ceiling of their cell,
made a rope of bed sheets and descended from the roof.
Zuniga told Cabello he had a ride, and they separated. Cabello was
attempting to walk to the Mexican border, which is 60 miles south of
Platt was in Pecos today working toward getting computer equipment for
the magistrate chambers in the new Lucius D. Bunton III federal
He will be interviewing applicants in Midland for the position of
courtroom deputy, a position vacated last week by Johnny Terrazas.
Terrazas, a Pecos native, declined to move to Midland, where the new
magistrate will reside. He accepted a position in the district clerk's
office so he could remain here.
District Judge Royal Furgeson had ordered Terrazas to move to Midland
last year, but the resignation of U.S. Magistrate Judge Louis Guriola
Jr. put that move on hold.
Now that Platt has chosen to live in Midland, the official duty station
for the magistrate court will be changed from Pecos to Midland, and all
his staff will be headquartered there.
However, Platt said he will spend at least one day in Pecos and will
bring his staff if he can get computer equipment so they can work while
He said he may also make arrangements to go to Sierra Blanca for initial
appearances on suspects arrested at the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint
there. Those cases have been going to El Paso instead of Pecos where
Platt said he has hired a bilingual secretary, Dwendy Huff. He has
talked with Judge Furgeson and Bunton about getting her certified as a
court interpreter so she can fill in when Magda Montes is busy in
"I plan to use the magistrate courtroom," Platt said. "I expect to be
here every Thursday and on other days as needed."
Once the FBI completes their background investigation, Platt will take
the oath of office in special ceremonies in both Pecos and Midland
courtrooms, he said. That date is tentatively set for early September.
Heavy rains surrounded Pecos on Sunday, but only .02 inch fell in the
local National Weather Service gauge before 7:30 a.m. today.
Weekend rains totaled .47 inch, bringing the year-to-date rainfall to
5.85 inches, with a drizzle continuing this morning.
Flash flood warnings were out Sunday night for southwestern Reeves
County, as runoff from heavy rains coming down from the Davis Mountains
west of Toyah threatened to wash out a bridge on County Road 225, said
Reeves County Sheriff's Deputy Damon Compton. County crews closed the
road to traffic.
The Reeves County warning was canceled after midnight, but heavy rain
continued to fall further to the south, prompting the National Weather
Service to issue a flash flood warning for the Davis Mountains and the
Presidio Valley early today.
A flash flood watch was in effect early today for Jeff Davis, Presidio
and extreme northern Brewster counties. The area included Presidio,
Marfa, Fort Davis and Alpine.
Forecasts called for continued showers and thunderstorms in West Texas,
including some with locally heavy rain, through Tuesday. It will be
mostly cloudy to cloudy.
The remnants of Hurricane Dolly may trigger some showers in South Texas
Pat Brijalba of the Balmorhea Chamber of Commerce said today that all of
the "shady spots," are taken for booth set-ups, so persons still
interested in erecting a stand should plan to bring umbrellas or tarps
to avoid the sun.
There is a $25 fee for booths, which includes electricity, he said. A
$15 dollar charge for booths if no electricity is needed, he added.
Brijalba said that, unlike previous years, food booths run by
out-of-town representatives will be featured.
The Saturday event will kick off with the distribution of beans to
contestants in the 21st Annual Bean Cook-Off, which Brijalba said, will
involve the use of any type of cooking apparatus or fuel, "except
Again, electricity will be provided.
The entry fee for the competition is $20 and a $100 prize will be
awarded to first place winners in the bean and camp divisions.
Washer experts will have their day in the sun during the festival's
Washer Tournament. The event will be a double elimination process, with
an entry fee is $10 per two person team.
There will be trophies awarded, as well as cash. Money prizes will
depend on the number of entries.
There will be a special appearance by Freddy Capers and his `henchmen'
from Fort Stockton at the festival, will be centered around the city's
"There will be singing and dancing," said Brijalba, by the youth of
Odessa's Mexican-American Youth Organization. He added that new to this
year's event will be a fund-raising duck race for the chamber will be
conducted in the canal.
"We're just nuts about ducks," this year, said Balmorhea Chamber
President Ellen Weinacht. She added that 500 ducks will be available for
purchase and participation in the race for $5 each. Cash prizes for the
first, second and third placers will depend on the number of entries.
The race is scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Duck Plop, said Brijalba, will feature a 10 X 10 area platform
divided into 100 squares, which will be available for $3. The person
with the square that is "plopped," will, "share in the proceeds with the
Another new event to the festival is the kid's game, "Milley's Maze,"
said Brijalba. There will be a prize for the child completing the maze
the fastest he added.
Although entries for the softball tournament have been completed,
persons interested in checking out the competition can do so during the
festival or have their kids join in on all the other games like tortilla
painting, coke ring toss, minnow catching competition and water
"There will be free face painting," through the special street event,
Maria M. Lopez, 88, died Sunday, Aug. 25, 1996, at Reeves County
Services are scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m. in Primera Iglesia
Bautista with burial at Mount Evergreen Cemetery.
She was born May 4, 1908, in San Pedro De Las Colonia, Coah., Mexico,
was a lifetime resident, a Baptist and a homemaker.
Survivors include three sons, Refugio Gaitain of Coah., Mex., Dario
Sanchez of San Antonio, Eustacio Sanchez of Reynosa, Mex.; one daughter,
Josefa Sanchez Carrasco of Pecos; 33 grandchildren; 23
great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
Magdalena Martinez, 91, died Thursday, Aug. 22, 1996, in Medical Center
Hospital in Odessa.
Mass was held on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church with
burial at Greenwood Cemetery.
She was born July 22, 1905 in Ojinaga, Mex., and was a Catholic.
Survivors include one brother, Elijio R. Martinez of Pecos; two sisters,
Bonifacia Marquez of Pecos and Jesusita Nichols of Pecos.
Susanna Rojo, 59, of Big Spring died Thursday night in a local hospital
following a short illness.
Masss was held today at 4 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic
Church with Rev. Christopher Coleman, officiating. Burial was Mount
Olive Memoiral Park in Big Spring.
She was born May 24, 1937 in Marfa, came to Big Spring in 1975 moving
there from Pecos. She had worked as a nurses aide for home health for
several years and was a member of the Catholic Church.
Survivors include one daughter, Mary Lou Saldana of Big Spring; three
sons, Henry, Larry and Jesse Valverde of Big Spring; one sister,
Eufrasia Gonzales of Big Spring; four grandchildren and numerous nieces
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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