Michael Jarrett (File)
WACO (November 18, 2013) McLennan County prosecutor Michael Jarrett, who accidentally shot out the window of his office two weeks ago while inspecting a colleague’s .40 caliber Glock handgun, has been demoted from first assistant district attorney to assistant district attorney, according to documents obtained by News 10.
The demotion became effective on Saturday and a payroll status form shows that it means a cut in salary from $117,863 to $103,600.
Deputy First Assistant District Attorney Gregory Davis was promoted to replace Jarrett pending approval Tuesday by McLennan County Commissioners and will receive a corresponding salary increase, a payroll status form shows.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna issued a statement Monday in which he said Jarrett was reassigned to handle “a special case load designated by myself that will utilize his excellent trial skills, and expert prosecutorial abilities.”
“I will stand by Michael. He is aware of the mistake he made and has accepted responsibility for his actions,” Reyna said.
“With that said, Michael is also an extremely talented trial lawyer and one of the top prosecutors in the State of Texas. Much of our success at the DA’s office could not have been accomplished without the efforts and tireless work ethic of Michael Jarrett,” he said.
Jonathan Sibley, the president of the McLennan County Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, called it “an unfortunate situation,” but said the demotion wouldn’t affect the relationship between local defense lawyers and the District Attorney’s Office.
Jarrett, who has a Concealed Handgun License, said he checked the gun, thought it was unloaded and pointed it at a window on Nov. 4, authorities said.
The bullet hit the wall of the vacant county jail building adjacent to the District Attorney’s Office, authorities said.
No charges were filed because there’s no evidence the gun was fired in a reckless manner, Chief Deputy Sheriff Matt Cawthon said.
Reyna said in a prepared statement earlier this month that he encourages his prosecutors to arm themselves in the wake of shootings that claimed the life of Kaufman County’s district attorney, his wife, and an assistant prosecutor.
But he said he insisted “that they be responsible in doing so.”
“I am very relieved no one was injured in the accident,” Reyna said.
“With that said, I am extremely angry this occurred,” he said.
He said then he would “implement whatever policy necessary or take whatever disciplinary action necessary to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”