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New JP takes office

By Melissa Crowe
April 9, 2012 at 4:05 p.m.
Updated April 8, 2012 at 11:09 p.m.

Richard Castillo

Commissioners Also:

Heard Fire Chief Tanner Drake's annual report, and are expected to receive an inter-local agreement next week regarding fire services;Accepted a $32,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase Tasers and ballistic helmets for city and county law enforcement.

Justice of the Peace Richard Castillo took the oath of office Monday during Victoria County Commissioners Court meeting.

County Judge Don Pozzi presented the new judge to the county and reminded Castillo that "there's a lot of work to do."

Before taking the oath, Castillo formally submitted his resignation from his position as Precinct 1 constable.

Castillo said it is an honor to serve the community on this level. His appointment is through January, so there will be a special election in November for justice of the peace. Castillo said he plans to run in that race.

Because that race will not be included in the primary election, Democratic and Republican parties will nominate a candidate, anyone else can run as an independent.

Castillo said he wants to work on warrants - in the same fashion as Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Stuart Posey - so officers in the field can verify warrants after-hours.

The plan improves officer and public safety and clears warrants, Castillo said.

He used the example of a domestic disturbance. Someone can be taken in if they have a traffic warrant and have time to "cool off," Castillo said.

He said the constables and justice offices all work together.

"I've got a lot of support from the other justices of the peace and the sheriff's office," Castillo said. "I'm relying on that support."

A replacement constable will be appointed after the May 29 election, Pozzi said. Castillo ended his campaign for re-election last week.

"Other constables will cover that area the best they can" until then, Pozzi said.

The court also agreed to renew a $900 monthly lease for Castillo's justice of the peace office.

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