Bell County: Commissioners stay the course on local JP’s replacement

Bell County commissioners. (Photo by Alex Cano/file)

BELTON, Texas (KWTX) Bell County commissioners have voted to continue with a process they agreed on earlier to replace a justice of the peace who was removed from her position after she was found unfit to hold office.

Bell County Commissioners agreed on Feb. 19 to allow the Bell County Democratic Party to recommend replacement for Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown who was ousted after a jury found her unfit to hold office on Feb. 13.

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

Thursday night, commissioners considered whether to open the selection process to more than just Democrats, but voted 3-2 to continue with the process on which they originally agreed.

“At our first meeting we discussed the process and then outlined that process,” Bell County Judge David Blackburn said.

“Yesterday, we had a second meeting to see if we needed to reconsider that process. The decision was ‘no.’”

Four names were submitted by the Bell County Democratic Party to replace Brown: Ernest Lee Wilkerson, Louie Minor, Nicola James and Daryl Keith Peters.

“We are in the process of contacting those four individuals right now to set up interviews,” Blackburn said.

He says interviews are expected to start the week of March 11.

“Our hope is to fill the position as expeditiously as we can. The JP duties and responsibilities for Precinct 4 Place 1 don’t stop just because there is no JP,” he said.