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Collin County won’t fight its special prosecutor bill

For now, anyway.

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

The Collin County Commissioners Court on Monday voted to take “a careful review” of the cost of prosecuting Attorney General Ken Paxton, while appealing to residents to set aside emotions and avoid attacking the court’s future decisions.

“Regardless of how any vote comes down today, or future votes come down, one thing I’m confident of is the integrity of my colleagues on this court,” Commissioner Chris Hill said just before the unanimous vote was taken. “There is a very important and fine line that must be drawn between the politics of this case and the justice of this case.”


Ahead of Monday’s meeting, Paxton’s supporters called on the five members of the commissioners court either to refuse to pay future bills or immediately appeal the Tarrant County judge’s order.

The court took neither step Monday. They instead unanimously passed a resolution (see below) that keeps open their options until the prosecutors submit their next bill.

“Resolved: The Collin County Commissioners Court is committed to taking a careful review of future fee awards and is committed to taking the necessary steps to protect our opportunity to seek appellate review of an order exceeding the local rules to implement the Texas Fair Defense Act, which may include a formal request to stay any such successive order and filing a writ of mandamus in a court of appeals.”

Hill has been outspoken in his opposition to the prosecutors’ hourly rate. In past votes, he and Commissioner Susan Fletcher have voted against paying the fees associated with Paxton’s case, but they have been outnumbered each time.

On Monday, Fletcher appealed to the civility of her constituents, saying, “There are times when legislative bodies have differences of opinion, and this is one of them.”

County Judge Keith Self, who leads the court, urged the commissioners to keep in mind their duty to follow the rule of law.

“We do have a case here that has mixed politics and law. There’s no doubt about it,” Self said. “We have to be very careful as a commissioners court not to be seen to, or even attempting to, place our thumb on the scales of justice in this case.”

Good to know that all that legislative meddling hasn’t worked. Yet. This is one of those times when the state should step in and take autonomy away from the counties. I understand why Collin County doesn’t want to get saddled with this expense, but it’s just too damn bad.

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One Comment

  1. Bill Daniels says:

    Perhaps Paxton should have committed his crimes in a different county?