Travis County District Attorney • Democratic candidates Q&A

Travis County District Attorney u2022 Democratic candidates Q & A

Travis County District Attorney u2022 Democratic candidates Q & A

TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Gary Cobb[/caption]

Gary Cobb


www.garycobbforda.com
Experience: Prosecuted felony jury trials in the Travis County District Attorney’s Office for more than 25 years and handled an estimated 200 jury trials, including successfully convicting Tom DeLay; personally prosecuted some of the most difficult cases that have been handled by our district attorney’s office; supervised and trained attorneys; involved in budget process and technological upgrades; provided community outreach regarding the grand jury system; advocated for more equitable programs that will give nonviolent defendants an opportunity to avoid imprisonment



What is your top priority if you are elected?


Restore trust in the DA’s office. 


I believe that the DA’s office, law enforcement agencies and the overall community must all be partners in working together to create a safer community. The partnership must be based on common goals and values that all stakeholders share and are committed to working toward. The DA’s office must work with and within the larger community to create strong relationships that will restore trust and confidence that our commitment to justice is unwavering and equitable to all. 


I believe our office must train prosecutors to be aware of and to avoid the mistakes and biases that commonly lead to wrongful convictions, convictions that erode public trust. We have a tremendously talented staff, and I commit that from the top down we will work each day with professionalism and respect for our community and for the laws we enforce.








TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Margaret Moore[/caption]

Margaret Moore


www.margaretforda.com
Experience: Prosecuted felony cases in court and managed an office with a multimillion- dollar budget; served as Travis County attorney and instituted the first deferred prosecution program in the county, the use of videos in DWI cases and the use of counseling programs; served as Travis County juvenile public defender; served as co-chairwoman of the Texas District and County Attorneys Association; twice appointed as Travis County commissioner, Precinct 3; served as assistant attorney general and prosecuted civil cases against large corporate perpetrators of Medicaid fraud



What is your top priority if you are elected?


My first order of business will be:




  • fostering trust and confidence both inside and outside the office through communication, community outreach and collaboration;

  • exploring the expansion of diversion programs to address over­incarceration that costs our community dearly;

  • approaching the Legislature to restore funding for the Public Integrity Unit;

  • continuing to prosecute recalcitrant polluters all over the state on behalf of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; and

  • working with the business community to increase education about environmental requirements.






 

TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Rick Reed[/caption]

Rick Reed


www.rickreedforda.com
Experience: Possesses 30 years of experience in criminal law and tried more than 500 contested criminal cases including almost 350 jury trials; served as assistant district attorney for the Dallas County Criminal District Attorney’s Office for 12 years, including serving as chief felony prosecutor in three district courts as well as supervised the Misdemeanor Trial and Specialized Crime divisions; served one year in private practice; served nine years as an assistant district attorney for the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, including serving as felony prosecutor and chief felony prosecutor



What is your top priority if you are elected?


My top priority will be to restore public confidence in the district attorney’s office. Unfortunately, certain events have occurred during recent years that have eroded public confidence in that office. Many citizens have come to believe that public officials, including the district attorney, the chief law enforcement officer of Travis County, no longer consider themselves accountable to the citizens whom they are elected to serve. I believe that elected officials, and the individuals whom they employ, are first and foremost public servants. As such they should hold themselves to the highest legal and ethical standards, and they should never forget that they are servants of their constituents, not vice-versa.


To restore public confidence in the district attorney’s office, I will establish a strict code of conduct that will apply to every employee of the district attorney’s office, including the district attorney and first assistant district attorney.






The unopposed Republican candidate running for Travis County District Attorney is Maura Phelan.



MOST RECENT

Travis County had an estimated 2,044 active coronavirus cases June 2. (Nicholas Cicale/Community impact Newspaper)
Austin metro COVID-19 hospitalizations at 97 as Travis County cases increase by 73

Travis County had an estimated 2,044 active coronavirus cases June 2.

Of the confirmed cases, 412 have recovered. (Community Impact staff)
Williamson County adds 6 confirmed cases of coronavirus June 2

Of the confirmed cases, 412 have recovered.

(Designed by Rachal Russell/Community Impact Newspaper)
Here is how to file a civil rights complaint in the Austin area

Citizens who feel they need to file a civil rights case against law enforcement have several avenues to make a complaint.

Cedar Park High School (Courtesy Leander ISD)
PHOTOS: Leander ISD's six high schools host cap and gown pickups

Vandegrift High School's class of 2020 picked up their caps and gowns during a socially distant drive-thru at VHS on May 29.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
88 new coronavirus cases in Travis County on June 1 set single-day high

COVID-19 hospitalizations also increased to 97 in the Austin metro.

Richard Rhodes, the president and CEO of Austin Community College, said June 1 that the district is prioritizing the hiring of a new chief equity, diversity and inclusion officer. (Courtesy Austin Community College)
Austin Community College prioritizing hiring equity officer despite ongoing hiring freeze

The district brought up the hiring during a discussion about protests and demonstrations that have taken place over the past weekend.

Businesses shuttering their doors due to coronavirus restrictions lowered the sales tax revenue collected by cities in May compared to May 2019. (Andy Li/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas comptroller reports 13.2% year-over-year state sales tax revenue drop in May

Tax collection revenue fell significantly in several sectors from May 2019 to May 2020, according to the comptroller's office.

Williamson County reported 34 additional cases between May 30 and June 1. (Screenshot courtesy Williamson County)
OVER THE WEEKEND: 34 new cases of coronavirus, additional death reported in Williamson County

Currently, 10 patients are hospitalized, and four are in intensive care, per the report.

Demonstrators gathered at the Texas Capitol on May 31 to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Texas officials respond to demonstrations, unrest in wake of George Floyd killing

Gov. Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster in Texas on May 31, while various city officials and law enforcment responded to protests and violence over the weekend.

A group of 16 mayors from municipalities within Travis County have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting a per capita approach to the issue of COVID-19 relief funding. (Screenshot courtesy Kara King)
Group of 16 Travis County mayors signs letter requesting $23M in county COVID-19 relief funds

City leaders in Travis County, from Bee Cave to manor, have signed a letter to County Judge Sam Biscoe requesting more than $23 million in federal coronavirus relief funds be released to 21 municipalities as soon as possible.

Demonstrators gathered in front of the Texas Capitol on Sunday, May 31, to protest police brutality. (Christopher Neely/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell speaks on George Floyd, Austin protests

“I think like everyone else, I was horrified [by Floyd’s] death," Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said.

Leander ISD is holding an online survey so LISD stakeholders may “share ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding our starting school” Aug. 13. (Community Impact staff)
Leander ISD online survey seeks feedback from families regarding August reopening

Leander ISD is holding an online survey so LISD stakeholders may “share ideas, concerns, and thoughts regarding our starting school” Aug. 13.