Letter to the Editor
Published June 21, 2012 @ 6 a.m.
Dear Citizens of Garza County,
I wish to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for getting out and voting in the Primary Elections, and especially to those who supported me and my campaign. As many of you who have been reading my campaign commentaries already know, my plans for the County Attorney’s Office was for a smooth transition next year. Modern times require a modern approach to law enforcement and prosecution. The rate at which criminal cases are being filed is steadily increasing every year. Consequently, Garza County needs a full-time professional prosecutor in the County Attorney’s Office. With the approval of the Commissioner’s Court, and as long as there is no write-in candidate in November for the Office, my goal was to provide this full-time prosecutor from the District Attorney’s Office, for the Commissioner’s to appoint to the Office of County Attorney. This person would remain in Post and handle the County Attorney business, which includes misdemeanor and juvenile prosecution, and advising the Commissioner’s Court on county issues. The added benefit is having this individual assist me with felony cases from the District Attorney’s Office originating in Garza County. Remaining in Garza County, this individual will also be available to confer with law enforcement as needed for both misdemeanor and felony cases.
I have recently been approached by a few people questioning my motives for this plan. Of particular concern was whether as District Attorney, I would maintain control over the County Attorney’s Office or any of its decision-making. To set the record straight, once an assistant district attorney, or anyone else for that matter, is appointed as County Attorney, as far as their role as County Attorney goes, that individual becomes a sovereign county official, just as any elected official, answerable to no one. Their decisions are their own to make. They are not considered to be employees of the county or of the District Attorney. In fact, they cannot be terminated by the Commissioner’s Court or the District Attorney, but may only be removed for cause as any other county official as provided by the Local Government Code. This individual would, however, be my assistant as far as felony cases go. My control over their decision-making would be limited to their role as assistant district attorney, not as County Attorney.
In short, Garza County has been good to me. I have made many friendships that I will take with me and cherish for years to come. My motives were to provide competent and professional counsel for Garza County in my absence, so that I may assume my new role as District Attorney next year knowing that this county would be well provided for. I did not wish to appear to be abandoning Garza County when another long-awaited career opportunity presented itself to me. I will make my intentions official to the Commissioner’s Court after I am vested with the powers of the District Attorney Elect in November, and only if there is no write-in candidate for County Attorney that files before then.
Should there be a write-in candidate for County Attorney, the commissioner’s will be unable to appoint anyone. I cannot fault anyone for exercising their rights to file as a write-in candidate. However, I respectfully request anyone that may be considering filing, to put the benefit of the county first. And if they feel they can provide the county with competent and full-time professional legal counsel as I am trying to do, particularly as a criminal prosecutor which is what we need, then I invite them to answer this calling and file as a write-in. Thank you all again for reading.
-Michael Munk, Garza County Attorney, Republican Nominee for the 106th Judicial District Attorney