orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

December 19, 2011

Judge Clark to retire from County Court at Law

ORANGE — Judge Patrick Clark has confirmed with The Leader he is retiring at the end of his term on December 31, 2012.

Clark became judge of the Orange County Court at Law earlier this year after serving for years as judge of the 128th District Court.

In a prior Leader article in March, Judge Michael Shuff announced retired as County Court at Law judge In February and two months into his reelected term. .

The Orange County Commissioners’ Court approved appointing Clark from the 128th to County Court at Law.

The vote was 4-1 with Precinct 4 Commissioner Jody Crump voting no against the measure.

Crump said he favored taking application for the position and if Clark was the most qualified, the Commissioners’ Court could name him.

County Judge Carl Thibodeaux said he spoke with Clark two weeks prior after Shuff’s announcment about the County Court at Law position. Clark said he was interested.

Clark accepted and retired as district court judge so he could be solely the county court judge as per statuary requirement from state law.

Judge Courtney Arkeen was appointed by Gov. Rick Perrty to the 128th District Court bench.

Thibodeaux told the commissioners Clark is a former county court at law judge and it would had been tough to find someone with more experience.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Owen Burton asked if Clark would serve out as county court at law judge until the next election cycle at the commissioners’ court meeting in March.

Thibodeaux answered Clark would serve 21 months remaining in the term and he would have to file for the general election in November 2012 in December 2011 if he wanted to run as any candidate would be required to do.

Precinct 1 Commissioner David Dubose agreed with Crump and favored the commissioners’ court look at other applications.

Precinct 3 Commissioner John Dubose said the commissioners should appoint Clark then, and let the other applicants run for it in November 2012 since it’s an interim situation.

He added he didn’t believe a lawyer would walk away from a profitable private practice for a two-year term as a judge.

Thibodeaux said he felt appointing Clark would be in the best interest of the county and also in the best interest for everyone who will be running for the position in the next election.

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