Constable appointed to vacant justice of the peace position

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

April 3, 2012 at 3:01 p.m.
Updated April 2, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.

A Victoria County constable received the appointment Tuesday to the vacant Precinct 1 justice of the peace position.

Richard Castillo will take office Monday after executing the bond and oath during the commissioners court meeting, Judge Don Pozzi said.

Castillo, who previously served as fire marshal, said it is an honor to receive the appointment, but leaving his position as constable was a "major concern."

"This is a positive move," he said. "This is somewhere I can support the community better."

Castillo is on the Democratic Party primary ballot as an incumbent for the constable position.

"The date passed for him to be removed from the ballot," Pozzi said, adding that a person cannot hold two offices.

The justice of the peace office has been open since the former judge, Annie Ramos, resigned March 9 to seek the Democratic Party's nomination for Precinct 1 county commissioner. Because her resignation was on the last day of filing for the primary election, no one could file for the office.

Results from the May 29 primary election will dictate how the court proceeds with the constable opening, Pozzi said.

The court's intention is to leave the constable position open until May 29, depending on who wins the primary. Castillo's new appointment goes through Jan. 1, when a successor will be sworn in.

Castillo said he plans to end his campaign for constable and intends to run in a special election in November to finish out the justice of the peace position.

Richie Williams is running against Castillo in the constable race in the Democratic Primary. There are no Republican Party candidates for that position.

As far as the general election goes, the Republican and Democratic parties will each nominate a candidate for justice of the peace and those names will go on the ballot. Anyone else will have to run as an independent, Pozzi said.

Seven Victoria County residents applied for the justice of the peace appointment, and the court received numerous phone calls and recommendations.

"We consider this and take this task very seriously," Pozzi said. "It is an important appointment and we were not influenced by any recommendations we received."



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