Victoria County begins JP search

Melissa Crowe By Melissa Crowe

March 12, 2012 at 7:01 p.m.
Updated March 12, 2012 at 10:13 p.m.

Victoria County is accepting resumes for a recently-opened justice of the peace position, Judge Don Pozzi announced during Monday's commissioners court meeting.

"We need to do it quickly, but I'm not going to make it a rush job," Pozzi said.

Former Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Annie Ramos, who held the seat for 15 years, resigned on Friday, effective immediately, Pozzi said, reading from her resignation letter.

Until the position is filled, the Precinct 1 office will remain open with clerical staff and assistants. The county's three remaining justices are anticipated to take over Precinct 1 hearings as they are able.

According to Ramos' letter, she is "pursuing another venture." She filed Friday for the Democratic Party nomination for county commissioner Precinct 1.

"I believe I can serve Victoria County better as county commissioner than as justice of the peace," Ramos said Friday. "I am limited in what I can do and say now as justice of the peace."

Elections Administrator George Matthews said during Monday's meeting it was "too late" to put the vacancy on the primary ballot.

Resumes will be accepted through 5 p.m. March 21, at the Office of Administrative Services, Room 213 in the courthouse, 115 N. Bridge St., Victoria.

For potential candidates, Pozzi recommended hand-delivering resumes to the county, rather than mailing them. He hopes to have someone appointed by the first week of April. Commissioner Kevin Janak and Administrative Services Director Joyce Dean will assist in the hiring process.

The appointment will be through November. After that, the position will be on the ballot as an unexpired term, Pozzi said.

In Ramos' resignation letter, she requests commissioners consider Constable Richard Castillo for the position.

"I have been coaching him as to my duties for quite sometime," Ramos wrote.

Castillo, who filed for reelection with the Democratic Party, said he would be "honored" to receive the appointment.

"If the commissioners court asked me to do it, I would gladly accept it," Castillo said. "It would be up to them. I don't know what they plan to do and I haven't talked to them at this point ... It's a major decision for me, but I know this is a position I can help Precinct 1 and continue the same leadership she had in her office."

The last time the county faced a situation like this was in 2005 when Justice of the Peace Precinct 2 Jack Milam, died. His wife, Carolyn, was appointed to the position.

Stuart Posey was elected to the office in the 2006 election. He remains in that office.



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