• November 25, 2020

Prosecutorial revamp viewed - Odessa American: Ector County

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Prosecutorial revamp viewed

Gallivan seeks to combine district attorney’s and county attorney’s offices into a criminal DA’s office

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Posted: Monday, October 26, 2020 1:36 pm

Ector County commissioners on Tuesday will consider a resolution asking the Texas Legislature in Austin to create a criminal district attorney’s office here, merging the district attorney’s and county attorney’s offices.

Having suggested the move Aug. 4, County Attorney Dusty Gallivan said Monday that a substantial increase in felony and misdemeanor cases had prompted his proposal.

“Having the felonies in one office and the misdemeanors in another is inefficient,” he said. “Most defendants don’t commit just a felony or just a misdemeanor. They usually have a combination of them.”

Gallivan has served as county attorney since 2014 and he is running unopposed in next Tuesday’s election to succeed Bobby Bland, who didn’t seek re-election, as district attorney.

Gallivan’s chief assistant, Greg Barber, is running unopposed for county attorney and Barber has agreed to become Gallivan’s chief assistant in the criminal district attorney’s office if the county attorney’s office is abolished and a criminal DA’s office established, Gallivan said, adding that the changeover would probably go into effect either on Sept. 1 or October next year.

“The two offices would basically stay the same, but some positions would go away,” he said. “We wouldn’t need two receptionists or two office managers, for example.” he said.

Gallivan said that if there were a problem with getting the necessary legislation through the Texas Legislature in Austin and signed into law by the governor, the county would still have the option of combining the offices by their agreement and the agreement of the commissioners court. He said the Midland County criminal justice system operates under such agreements.

In other business in the 10 a.m. meeting in the commissioners’ courtroom at the 1010 E. Eighth St. administration building, the court is scheduled to accept an $80,000 donation for the sheriff’s office from the seventh annual Bustin’ for Badges clay pigeon-shooting fundraiser.

Held Sept. 10-11 at Windwalker Farms near Stanton, the event also raised money for the Odessa and Midland police departments and the Midland County Sheriff’s Office.

The court will also:

>> Hear a presentation from the Midland-Odessa Transportation Alliance about broadband services.

>> Accept a $1,000 donation from Varsity Sports Unlimited for the sheriff’s office.

>> Consider a request from Highways and Streets Department Director Evans Kessey for the court to approve discretionary exemptions from competitive bids for purchases by the public works department.

>> Discuss OK’ing a certificate of substantial completion for phase one of roofing projects on county buildings.

>> Review a period of contract correction to the agreement for off-site records storage of district court records and trial exhibits.

>> Consider a $250 transfer from Commissioner’s Precinct 3 to the general fund for educational travel.

>> Review a $5,000 budget amendment for equipment rental through the BuyBoard Cooperative Purchase Program from R.B. Everett & Co. of Haltom City, a Fort Worth suburb, for equipment rental in the road maintenance department.

>> Discuss approving a budget amendment to the general fund for subscriptions in the human resources department.

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