Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas on January 10, 2004 · 23
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Austin American-Statesman from Austin, Texas · 23

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Austin, Texas
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Page:
23
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E5 WELCOME: New sheriff faces primary to determine whether he'll keep job Austin American-Statesman METRO & STATE Saturday, January 10, 2004 Continued from Bl and a new car and is trying to figure out how to make ends meet. "I just want some answers. I want to know why I was fired," Leeds said. "I was given nothing. No explanation. Nothing." At one point, courthouse officials whipped out yellow measuring tape to push protestors the required 100 feet away from the courthouse. The protesters had a license, but Texas law says that any activity that can be construed as campaigning is prohibited within 100 feet of a polling place. Early voting for a Georgetown City Council seat was taking place inside the courthouse. Wilson faces four opponents in the Republican primary election March 9 that will determine whether he gets to keep the job. Several protesters were upset about the impersonal termination letters they received, in which Wilson said he wanted to "implement my own vision for the office." "They just slid the paper across the table," said corrections officer Christine Roseber-ry, who was fired along with her husband, Wesley, a lieutenant. "Didn't even offer a handshake or a condolence." She said her husband got his pink slip 10 minutes after receiving an award for life-saving service. The couple has five children. Wilson said he had the county attorney's office draft the form '"V, . .' i . . . -' y . -I I k . -"iTrrnin-iiilinwiiiiiiiiiiiii-n ma mami ill i i'-jhM-mirrrT-f TfairrtiiimifMnTr ------ Brian K. Diggs amkiih'AN-statksman Sheriff Jim Wilson, left, is congratulated Friday by Mike Sheffield, head of the Austin Police Association, at the courthouse. letter and that he stands behind his decisions. Commissioners said they gave Wilson the job mostly because he promised to make dramatic changes to Maspero's old regime. Wilson said he didn't make the decisions recklessly. He said he and his top deputies spent several days reviewing personnel files, discussing deputies' job performance and choosing people they thought would be Joyal and qualified. "People have a right to protest," Wilson said. "They are disgruntled former employees and their friends. But I have no regrets at all." After the swearing in, people with "I support Jim" name tags chatted over doughnuts and coffee and said they agreed with Wilson's staffing choices. "Most of these people who are going had already said they would leave if Jim became sheriff," said Bleecker Morse, a Republican precinct chairman. "If you can't have loyalty and support, then you have to let people go." Commissioner Greg Boat-right, who pushed for Wilson to get the job, might have summed up the morning best. "Change doesn't come easy," he said. scpppolastatesman.com; 246-0043 MISSING: On his first day on the job, sheriff remembers Rachel Cooke Continued from Bl case. Early on, an FBI agent also assisted on the case, he said. "It has never been forgotten," Lummus said. "It is continually being followed up on." The department has gotten hundreds of calls about Rachel Cooke, and most of those leads have been followed to their end, Lummus said. He said the department still receives calls each week. Rachel Cooke's picture also is listed in missing persons databases. Investigators have taken witness statements from roughly 200 people, Lummus said, such as the woman's family, neighbors and people who saw her in the days before she vanished. Volunteer searchers found no clothing or physical evidence to suggest what might have happened to Rachel Cooke, he said. Some witnesses have taken lie detector tests, he said, and no one has been officially eliminated as a suspect. Investigative experts said it can take several weeks to thoroughly review a case. One approach is to re interview as many witnesses as possible, said Sgt. A.J. Miller of the Texas Rangers' unsolved crimes investigative team. "Generally people tan remember the truth easily. If they've changed their story, you can tell," Miller said. "You look under every rock until you don't have a single question left that needs an answer." Robert Cooke said he hopes Wilson's investigators keep in better contact with him about the case and bring in help from the FBI or Texas Rangers. "Every day I wake up thinking, 'What haven't we done?' " Cooke said. "There has to be something that turns up the right lead." The Cooke family will hold a fellowship gathering at 4 p.m. today at Faith Lutheran Church to mark the anniversary of Rachel Cooke's disappearance. A candlelight prayer service will begin at 6 p.m. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriffs office at 943-1300. scoppolastatesman.com; 246-0043 r r Lr? if iff iigi'lior Mi; - I ' I f ONE YEAR . I l ' f 1 I FREE CRED,T waa a. Custom Walls Z 1 K Custom Office J 1 Bedrooms -C -r Bookcases x Barstools N. A 7 Armoires r- o Furniture WE FINISH & DELIVER 451-0213 Suggested List "A WAC-Minimum Purchase Required Excludes Clearance & Advertised Items. Prior Sales Excluded. IN THE RAW www.furnitureintheraw. net & s o 'm 7713 Burnet Rd M-Sat. 9:30-7 Sun. 12-6 12 Bik. So. Anderson Ln. Next to Bassett Where do Eye Doctors go for their own LASIK Surgery? With everyone claiming to be a "LASIK expert", rinding a surgeon you can trust can be difficult. You might be wondering, .. Where do eye doctors go when they want LASIK? After all, eye doctors have first-hand knowledge about different eye surgeons, their level of experience and skill, and the equipment they use. The simple truth is that more eye doctors in central Texas have chosen the surgeons at Texan Eye Care for their own LASIK procedure than any other practice. They know that the surgeons at Texan Eye care are nationally recognized leaders in LASIK and utilize the most advanced technology available. Don't your eyes also deserve the best? Free LASIK seminar with Steven J. Dell M.D., Wednesday, January 14th, 6:00-7:30 p.m. Seating is limited. Call to reserve your space or register online at www.texaneyecare.com sT: Texan Eye Care H WV, H 1700S.Mopac, Austin, TX (512)327-7000 1-800-252-2020 Bethany Lutheran Church 3701 West Slaughter Lane 292-8778 1 3-week Seminars Offered GriefCart Sundays -10:50 a.m. Begins Jan. 1 1 DivoneCare Sundays - 7:00 p.m. Begins Jan. 1 1 Step Mom Support Group . 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