Commissioners agree on process to replace ousted local JP

(Photo by Alex Cano)
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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Bell County Commissioners agreed Tuesday on a process to replace Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown who was ousted after a jury found her unfit to hold office on Feb. 13.

Pct. 2 Bell County Justice of the Peace Cliff Coleman and Pct. 4 Pl. 2 Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke have been helping cover Brown's cases since her removal, County Judge David Blackburn said during the commissioners meeting Tuesday morning.

Brown, a Democrat, won the position in 2016, upsetting longtime Republican JP Garland Potvin.

Commissioners approved a proposal by Pct. 4 Commissioner Jon Driver to allow the Bell County Democratic Party to recommend replacements.

The party has until noon Feb. 25 to come up with at least three possible candidates for the job, which commissioners will then review.

A Killeen attorney filed the petition to have Brown removed from the bench after Brown set a $4 billion bond for a murder suspect.

The Bell County Attorney’s Office says it was the first trial of a removal petition in the county in 33 years.