Named County Judge p 2
12A Corpus Christ! Caller-Times, Sun., Feb. 2, : ' : WEBB - Continued from Page I ney general's opinion which held that it was "contrary to public policy" for an appointive board, such as a commissioners court, to appoint one of its members as a county judge. A copy was supplied to this reporter by a bond broker who asked to remain remain anonymous. The broker suggested that Webb County -of- ficials''may-not-have known of the existence of the opinion. about to expire; nor can the result be accomplished indirectly by his resignation, with the intention intention that his successor shall cast his vote for him." . In his summary Carr wrote: "A county "commissioner who has tendered his resignation for the office continues to be a member of the commissioners court'pursuant to the provisions of Section 17 of Article XVI of the Texas Constitution until his successor has been appointed The opinion, d e s i g n a t e djand has qualified "Opinion No. C-452," dated Junejthese circumstances would 9, 1965,, was signed ty the then A t t o r n e y General Waggoner Carr. It was in answer to a request request from El Paso County to rule on this specific question, as wel! as others: "Whether, upon resignation of the present county county judge, an incumbent county commissioner may tender his resignation and thereupon be appointed county judge by other ineligible to be appointed by commissioners court to the office office of county judge because such an appointment would be contrary to public policy." What is the ettect of an attorney general's opinion? This reporter reporter sought the answer by asking this question of lllth District Court Judge Ezequiel Salt nas of Laredo: "In the absence county commissioners acting as! of a specific statute or any ^Virt r*ntv\mtt?t.'\r\Y\ti- f ~ r,ni,Â»^ Â» i PflllH nrppprlpftt u'hijt vvpicrht ic the commissioners court. court precedent, what weight Carr noted that this question! generally given in state had been considered in two pre.j t o an attorney general's opin- vious opinions of the Attorney|ionV" General. Opinion No. (M10, daf-j Judge Salinas replied: "An Ated March 15. 1939, he!d that a member of the board of directors directors of Texas Technological College College was not eligible for appointment appointment by the board of directors to the presidency of the college. The second, Opinion No. 0-789, dated May 11, 1939, seemed to fours;" as lawyers the situation "that torney General's opinion is persuasive, but not binding." (That is, a judge is not bound to his ruling on that opinion.) This reporter presented the attorney general's opinion to .file Webb County Commissioners Court Thursday afternoon at first session of the court devoted to official business with Judge be on "all say, with arose last month in Webb Coim-j Santos presiding. Commission- ty. The county judge had diedjers present were Mario Novoa and one of the county commis-j of Precinct 1, Fred M. Bruni sioners wanted to apply for a'p-j Precinct 2, and Marco A. pointment to fill the vacancy.}of Precinct 3. Juan G. The question was whether alreai, commissioner of Precinct ma ! member of the commissioners court, by tendering his resignation resignation as commissioner and hav- was out of the county and not attend. i , During the discussion of thei e n t - ing it accepted by the remaining!opinion, Judge Santos said three commissioners, would belhe was not a lawyer (he l ' ons eligible and legally qualified to] banker grocer and commodity n a d be appointed county judge in theji mpor t er in association with event the three remaining com- father, Alberto A. Santos, t n e missioners saw fit to appoint! But he'expressedI the opinion R 68 : him. The opinion noted that thet that the attorney general's commissioner's membership on lion did not seem to fit the the court would not be severed! county situation fays anter until his successor had qualified! Â«Anvwav ' WP will haw un- ' and that the vacancy in the of-j l v on the advice of our countv' fice of county judge would havei'lTM 'f-f p '^ ' ident Chung to be filled before the commis-1 ; , , ^ \ ' . , ' j sionex could effectuate his resig-i The court took no formal ac- nation, since no one was authnr-i u o n in the matter - but its mem- -! e r s agreed that they would ized to appoint his successor cept the county judge. It therefore therefore held that the commissioner I t o r n e y , -! Â°* ' ^ J . :Â«- r Â«!.. - t t advice of tne (:ount y at 1 was not eligible for appointment! But County Attorney Ma jbon was out of tne county ! ~ hursda " ' to the judgeship. . , Carr wrote that he could find ! ~ hursday - J Ie . r f t "- med , Fnda 'Udm. 0 TM 1 - At l a Ume hs . gave - no statute, nor any exact court) precedent, for the opinions cited. cited. But he cited with approval! this quotation from Corpus Juris Secundum, Vpl. 67. Page 130, Officers: Officers: "It 3s contrary to the policy of the' law for an officer to use his official appointing! power to place himself in office,! so that, even in the absence of a! statutory inhibition, all officers j who have the appointing power! are disqualified for appointment! at this time of year lo the offices to which they mays the oil-covered area appoint; and similarly a mem-j her of an appointing board is! ineligible for appointment by the' board, even though his vote is not essential to a majority in favor of his appointment, and although he was not present w h e n the appointment was made, and notwithstanding his his opinion that the ers court action was legal.. He added that he "did believe that any court would overturn the appointment of Santos as county judge; continued from Page The ecological balance in the area could be upset if oil slick harms microscopic forms, of sea life, a depart- ment spokesman said. The well shaft. ruptured Tuesday as the, off shore drill. drill. ing crew was withdrawing term in the appointing body wast pipe from the well.