Name: Steve Egan
Current position: Police officer
City of residence: Midlothian
Education: High School, some college, numerous hours of police training
Professional credentials/certifications/ commendations (relative to office): Master Police Officer, police instructor
Prior experience (relative to office): 29 + years law enforcement, worked with JPs at scenes, Municipal Court Bailiff
Family: Wife Judy, son Scott, daughter Kelly
Hobbies: fishing, hunting, camping riding motorcycles
QUESTION 1: In your own words, why are you running for Justice of the Peace?
ANSWER: I am running for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 because I am a committed public servant. I have served the citizens of Midlothian for over 29 years in the police department.
I want to serve the citizens of Precinct 4 and Ellis County in the capacity of Justice of the Peace.
QUESTION 2: If elected, do you plan on operating the justice of the peace office as a full-time position? If not, please explain how you plan to cover the required duties of the office, specifically, the 24-hour call shifts that are rotated among the county’s four JP judges.
ANSWER: If elected to the office of Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 I will conduct my court on a full time basis. I know that the court can not be operated on a part time basis due to the case load of the court.
If I am elected I will retire from the police department before I take office. I have no other work commitments that would interfere with my time that should be devoted to serving the citizens. And, I have been on 24 hour call throughout my career.
QUESTION 3: As justice of the peace, what changes will you make to the Pct. 4 office and why?
ANSWER: I know of no changes that need to be made to the Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 court except for possibly computerizing or microfiche of records. I know of no need to replace employees.
QUESTION 4: Are you current on your personal and business taxes?
ANSWER: I am current on my personal taxes as of 2008, as of this writing I have not filed my 2009 personal income tax. I do not have a business.
QUESTION 5: Have you personally had criminal and/or civil legal issues (this does not include any litigation as a public official) and if so, how were those resolved?
ANSWER: I have not had any personal civil issues. I received three traffic citations when I was in my teens and early 20s, I paid the fines.
QUESTION 6: Because of the requirements of being called out to the scene of a fatal accident, homicide or death at any time, in any condition, do you feel you are physically able to perform the duties of the job?
ANSWER: I believe that I am physically and mentally capable of doing all the duties of the office of Justice of the Peace.
I have been exposed to all kinds of deaths throughout my career and have been on 24 hour call. I have assisted the Justices of the Peace at many scenes.
QUESTION 7: As judge presiding over “the people’s court,” are you willing to study the law in order to provide fair, impartial and speedy justice for the citizens who appear before your court?
ANSWER: As a judge of the “people’s court” I am willing to study the law so that I can provide fair, impartial, and speedy justice for the citizens.
QUESTION 8: Do you feel being an attorney is an advantage, disadvantage or neutral to serving as justice of the peace? Please explain.
ANSWER: I do not see that being an attorney would be an advantage to someone being a Justice of the Peace. The justice court is a common person’s court and has been part of the Texas Constitution since the early 1800s. There are over 820 justice courts in Texas and there are only about 80 attorneys serving as Justice of the Peace. While the court deals in law it is done with common sense.
QUESTION 9: Under what circumstances would you consider recusing yourself in a case due to a conflict of interest?
ANSWER: I would recuse myself from a case for a number of reasons. If the plaintiff/complainant or defendant were personal friends. If they financially supported my campaign. If I had prior knowledge of their case.
QUESTION 10: How you feel about taking over the truancy responsibilities for the school districts in Pct. 4?
ANSWER: I do not believe that the Justice of the Peace Pct. 4 court needs to take over the responsibility of truancy cases at this time. Both the Red Oak ISD and the Midlothian ISD file their truancy cases with their respective municipal courts. If those municipal courts become inundated with cases I would offer my court’s assistance.
QUESTION 11: How do you view the relationship between the J.P. office and the constable office?
ANSWER: The justice court and the constable’s office are two separate entities that have to work together. The court issues court orders and the constable office serves them. The court dispenses justice and the constable’s office serves as security/bailiff. Neither the court nor the constable’s office can tell the other what to do.
QUESTION 12: What is your view on the role of a J.P., that is, is it your responsibility to legislate from the bench, or apply the law as it is set forth in the Constitution and state laws.
ANSWER: I see the role and responsibility of a Justice of the Peace to be one who applies law as set forth in the Constitution and state laws. A Justice of the Peace should not “legislate from the bench.”
QUESTION 13: Tell us why you feel you are the best person for this position.
ANSWER: I am the best candidate for Justice of the Peace Pct 4 because I have lived in the county for over 25 years. I am a dedicated public servant and I have served the citizens of Midlothian for over 29 years in the police department. I understand that public office is a privilege that is provided by the people.
In dealing with people I am fair and unbiased and I am careful not to let emotions or personal relationships influence my decisions. I treat people in a professional and respectful manner. I understand that being the Justice of the Peace is a full time commitment, one that I would not take lightly. I will not have any business or volunteer commitments that interfere with my duties. And, I believe in justice for all.