Last week the WCGOP machine made it’s endorsement in the Precinct 1 Constable’s race. Making what the RRL called an “unusual” move, several GOP elected officials came out in favor of incumbent Gray Griffin’s challenger. Griffin essentially sealed this fate back in 2005 when he resisted attempts by DA John Bradley and Precinct 1 Commissioner Lisa Birkman working in cahoots, to wrest control of the Williamson County’s mental health duties from his control and give it over to the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office. (See EOW’s reporting on this issue here, here, and here). Not obeying the machine has it’s consequences.
Griffin has since filed a lawsuit against the county over the constitutionality of having his budget cut by the Commissioner’s Court. Despite being ruled against he is continuing to press his case, which only goes to irk the WCGOP machine even more.
The silliest part of the RRL article is when Bradley has to answer for his disparaging remarks made not only against conastables, but deputy constables. This is especially funny considering the fact that he is now backing a reserve deputy constable for promotion to constable, (how much worse a reserve deputy constable is than a deputy constable, in Bradley’s eyes, we can only wonder). It would $eem that Bradley’$ had a change of heart regarding the need for con$table$.
Some have questioned whether constable offices are still even necessary in Texas.
Griffin sent the Leader a question Bradley posted in 2004 on the Texas District and County Attorneys Association’s Web site.
On Feb. 4, 2004 Bradley wrote: “Is anyone else out there in favor of abolishing the office of constable?”
Griffin argues Bradley should not be making an endorsement for an office he doesn’t believe in.
Bradley is not alone in his opinions, though.
Bell County Attorney Rick Miller responded to Bradley’s posting, stating: “I do agree that the office of constable is an outmoded one. The commissioners could save additional staffing for the sheriff for process serving and attending the J.P. courts …. ”
Since then Texas voters have amended the state’s Constitution, allowing commissioners courts to do away with constable offices.
Griffin pointed out Chody is a reserve deputy constable, noting in 2004 Bradley posted: “The only thing worse [than a constable] …. A reserve deputy constable.”
Bradley told the Leader this week he should not have made that generalization four years ago.
The RRL didn’t clarify that while “some may question” if constables are still necessary, and the constables office can be abolished by a Commissioners Court, the office cannot just be eliminated at the whim of the Court, and the wish of the DA. The office of constable is a constitutionally mandated office, that has historic significance in Western democracies. For there even to be a question of eliminating a constable, the office has to have been empty for 7 years.Â Then a constitutional amendment must be passed, and ratified by county voters, to do aways with the constable. Â So there’s little chance of that happening any time soon.