Meet Commissioner Court County Judge Dean Crooks

Published 11:48 am Monday, August 13, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

The Orange Leader


While still on the campaign trail, Interim County Judge Dean Crooks found himself in the seat for which he was seeking through election.

Crooks was sworn in as Interim County Judge on April 27, with his first day in the position set for May 2, 2018.

The court approved Crooks as Interim after closed sessions that Tuesday due to the resignation of Stephen Brint Carlton.

Carlton accepted the position of Executive Director of the Texas Medical Board in Austin.

Crooks took the position just in time to work on the county budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

“I expected the budget to be difficult and it has not disappointed me,” Crooks said.

What Crooks was not expecting was the state of the county buildings at this point after Harvey.

“Michelle Tubbleville has been working hard with the public to connect them with resources,” Crooks said. “I expected county buildings to be ahead of the curve, and they are not. We are working ion getting them back up to speed.”

While nothing prepares one for the actual position as County Judge, Crooks anticipated the long hours.

“I arrive between 7:30 a.m. and 8 a.m. every morning,” Crooks said. “Sometimes, I am still here at 7 p.m., on Saturdays, or later evenings.”

Crooks said he sees it taking more than 40 hours a week for the foreseeable future.

“I don’t mind,” Crooks said. “It is just a fact.”

As the county moves forward in Harvey recovery, Crooks continues to meet with other elected officials to help obtain funding for Orange County.

Another project Crooks is working on is a Drainage Plan for the entire area, including Newton and Hardin Counties.

“Waters flowing through those counties have to go through us to get to where it is going,” Crooks said. “We are working on getting the flow without flooding.”

While working on funding and the drainage issues, Crooks has been meeting with State Representative Dade Phelan, Texas State Senator Robert Nichols and Congressman Brian Babin.

“Babin has been a helpful liaison with the Army Corp.,” Crooks said. “I enjoy working with these folks.”

Crooks hopes to make things better in Orange County.

“I hope to make things better everyday,” Crooks said.