Law Enforcement Cooperation – I am committed to working closely with our local law enforcement. As District Attorney, I will host monthly meetings with the Smith County Sheriff and all of Smith County’s police chiefs. Criminals are always adapting and learning ways to avoid detection. The goal of these meetings will be to share information in order to tackle emerging criminal activity such as gas pump skimmers, human trafficking, and gang and cartel activity. Increased communication and cooperation will go a long way to reducing crime.
Prosecutor Retention and Training – The citizens of Smith County are best served if the District Attorney is able to retain talented prosecutors who want to serve this community. Every officer and every victim deserves to have an experienced prosecutor handling their case. I will establish crystal clear policies and procedures that will ensure just results for every case, and a working environment that encourages attorneys to stay. I am committed to training my prosecutors. From a misdemeanor prosecutor fresh out of law school, to a seasoned felony trial attorney, I believe everyone can improve their skills. The citizens of Smith County need well trained prosecutors advocating for them. I WILL be very much a hands on District Attorney.
Accountability in Spending – Taxpayers in Smith County want to know how their money is being spent. Many taxpayers aren’t aware that in addition to the general funding supplied by Smith County, the District Attorney’s Office also controls asset forfeiture funds. These funds are assets seized from criminals. The citizens of Smith County deserve to know how the seizure funds are being spent. I am committed to making the records of how these funds are spent open and transparent to the public. Further, I will institute policies that ensure that property is not seized in a haphazard manner, and without due process. I am committed to stopping crime by seizing the proceeds of criminal activity, I will ensure that the law abiding citizen’s property is protected.
Law Enforcement Training – The Texas Legislature changes the criminal laws every two years. It seems the United States Supreme Court changes the criminal procedure laws whenever they feel like it. Smith County’s law enforcement professionals want and need to know the current state of the laws so they can do their job well. As District Attorney, I promise to regularly instruct law enforcement in the changes to criminal law. As courts and legislatures change the law, I will ensure every officer has the knowledge he or she needs. I will work with Sheriff Larry Smith to provide training during his annual local law enforcement training day, and will also participate with him in Community Awareness Training. Training will no longer be a slogan, but a way of life for the District Attorney’s office.
Conviction Security – Some District Attorney offices fall prey to the temptation to dismiss the hard cases or cut corners to obtain a conviction. As Smith County’s District Attorney, I am committed to ensuring that every one of my prosecutors gets a conviction when justice dictates and HOW justice dictates. I will have an open file policy where all of the State’s evidence is available to be inspected by the defense, as the law requires. As a prosecutor, my duty is to the truth and to justice. Mitigating and exculpatory evidence will always be provided to the defense. I fully support the death penalty, which is why it is so important we get the verdict right.
Uphold the Rule of Law – As District Attorney, I will treat everyone as equals under the law. I am committed to prosecuting each case based on its facts, not based on wealth, status, race, religion, or whether that person is an elected official. As District Attorney, it will be my responsibility to hold accountable those elected officials that abuse their position. When law enforcement determines that an elected official has broken the law, I promise that justice will be served. No more selective prosecution will take place in Smith County.
On the Rule of Law and the Oath of Office
The United States Constitution is the law of our great land, and along with its first ten amendments – our Bill of Rights – defines Liberty on the basis of limited government.
Should I be hired at the ballot box to the Office of Smith County District Attorney, I will pledge
to faithfully execute the duties of the office of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.
As District Attorney, I will never treat my Oath of Office nor the Rule of Law as a political menu from which I can pick and choose the politically correct, the politically easy, or politically expedient thing to do. I will seek to prosecute the rule of law – all of the law – all of the time, regardless of a person’s wealth, social status, race, religion or whether or not that person is an elected official. I do not believe in selective prosecution. If I have reason to believe an official has broken the law, that official will be investigated, and if the facts lead there, the official will be prosecuted.
Smith County Justice – Getting it Right
Smith County citizens deserve a District Attorney’s Office whose primary mission is to deliver a prosecution based on a case built with diligence and integrity. We need to get it right rather than prosecute fast in response to public pressure.
Smith County citizens deserve a District Attorney who will hold himself and his staff accountable to the very highest standards. I will require myself, my prosecutors, and all staff under my authority to exhibit strong moral character, integrity, and respect.
My Contract with the People of Smith County:
As your public servant, I will always strive to be a good steward. I will always seek to deliver the services of my office with the highest quality at the very best price, because I understand the burden of high taxes on families and businesses.
I will respect my employees; provide them with tools, training, and support; and will never ask them to do anything that I am not willing to do myself as a servant leader.
And as a variation of the military Honor Codes say, “In my District Attorney’s Office, we will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to serve the citizens of Smith County honorably.”