WAXAHACHIE — A new chapter of Ellis County history was written on Tuesday morning, as newly elected officials and returning public servants gathered at the historic Courthouse to be sworn in for a new term of office.
Ellis County Judge Carol Bush welcomed everyone to the ceremony and congratulated both new and returning elected public officials for their wiliness to serve. As Bush addressed the crowd gathered in the courtroom, she reminded the officials of the responsibility they hold and the duty to the residents they serve.
“When you are in a position of leadership there are people looking to you for guidance, to be the example and to exercise good judgment in your decision making. There are many of you that are returning that have been here for a long time (like) Mr. John Bridges with the tax office and Mike Navarro with the auditor’s office,” Ellis County Judge Carol Bush said. “But those that have come in new will very quickly feel the responsibility that rests on your shoulders. It is a responsibility that is grave because it can affect the decisions that you make. The actions that you take can affect so many people both for good and for bad depending on what your direction and what your focus is today.”
Bush encouraged her fellow public officials to take to heart the words of their oaths.
“As your saying the oath and repeating it, think about those words and the duties and the obligations that it represents and the commitment and the pledge that you are taking,” Bush said. “We have an opportunity as elected leaders to make a difference in our community. I hope that you will join me in attempting to do what is right for Ellis County. To do what is good, to do what is in the best interest of this county and to leave a legacy of good judgment of a focus on building something positive for this community.”
Randy Stinson, who the new Ellis County Commissioner for Precinct 1, shared Bush’s thoughts about service to the community and hopes to continue that level of service to residents.
“I feel good, ready to get to work. I think that it is going to be a good commissioners court. I am looking forward to working with the people in my barn. We have some good people over there. We have some good people in the court,” Stinson said. “In Precinct 1 we have a really good network of roads and bridges in our area, which has been kept up by our commissioner in the past. I hope to do as good of a job as Dennis (Robinson) had done. At the same time, there are always things that we can do better. Those are the areas that I am going to tackle.”
Stinson said he plans to improve the precinct’s infrastructure as growth continues within the county and hopes to be a diligent steward of the budget he oversees.
Stinson replaces Dennis Robinson, who did not seek reelection. Robinson served the county for the past 12 years, and his last commissioners' court meeting was on Dec. 22.
Returning for his tenth term in office as county auditor was Navarro. Navarro will be serving a shortened term from Jan. 1 – Aug. 31. In late September or early October Navarro has an offer to serve with the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Chief Council.
“I really enjoy the community here. It is a great community. It always feels like home. It is the opportunity to feel like your making a difference in your community," Navarro said. “I have been going to law school for the last three and half years part-time with the intent of starting a second career. I am looking forward to the opportunity and the chance to make a difference there as well.”
Navarro said the decision of whom he would be replaced by would be up to the counties district judges, Bob Carroll, Cindy Ermatinger and Joe Grubbs. He added that during his remaining time with the county he looks forward to continuing to serve.
The second new public official sworn in on Tuesday morning was Tyron Davis, who is the new constable for Precinct 3. Davis won the seat in the May 24 primary run-off election against incumbent Jimmie Ray and he was officially elected to office during the Nov. 8 General Election.
“Well I am just happy that the people of Ellis County have spoken and this day finally came,” Davis said.
Davis said he hopes to serve the county with dignity and integrity and hopes that he can make the county a safer place for residents.
However, Davis does not exactly start with a clean slate.
According to a Dec. 25 Daily Light article, Davis was arrested Dec. 16 by the Waxahachie Police Department on a warrant from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement for falsely identifying as a police officer.
According to the affidavit for warrant of arrest and detention issued on Dec. 12, Davis, while engaged in an election campaign for constable for Precinct 3, allegedly identified himself as a commissioned peace officer or a reserve law enforcement officer between March 28 and April 27. The affidavit states that Davis allegedly possessed and posted to his Facebook page an altered photo of his head on the body of Constable Michael R. Campbell's reelection photo. The photo showed Campbell in a full law enforcement uniform with a shoulder emblem with the word "constable" and a badge visible on the document.
The warrant also stated that Davis does not currently possess an active peace officer license and is not currently commissioned as a peace officer with any law enforcement agency in any capacity.
Ellis County Judge Carol Bush said previously that, at this point, she has "no indication that [Davis] would not be able to qualify to serve in this role." Bush also said the law provides newly elected constables 270 days to complete all TCOLE certifications that are a prerequisite to holding the office or performing some the functions of the office.
A June 25 Daily Light article reported that, according to documents filed with Ellis County Court at Law No. 2, Davis is facing three charges of failure to comply by not signing as a voting application assistant, as outlined in Sec. 86.010 of the Texas Elections Code.
The report states that, on or about April 25, Davis knowingly failed to affix his signature, his own name in printed form and/or his address to an application ballot by mail for six individuals.
Sec. 86.010 of the Texas Elections Code requires those who assist voters to fill in the name, residence address, mailing address and/or date of birth of the applicants on the application for ballot by mail.
Following the ceremony when asked by the Daily Light about the charges he is facing Davis answered, “I am not able to speak on that right now."
According to Personal Information from TCOLE, Davis served as a reserve officer twice for Ellis County Constable Precinct 3 — first from Feb. 3 — June 7, 2003, and again Feb. 14, 2005 – Aug. 9, 2007. Davis' second pretrial hearing is set to take place Jan. 25 at 1:30 p.m. in County Court at Law 2 on the charges from his first arrest.
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