WAXAHACHIE — Ellis County Commissioners acknowledged the resignation of Sheriff Johnny Brown and laid out a plan to choose a successor during their most recent session.

Brown resigned from office March 8 and then pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge.

“Understanding that gravity and the task that is before the commissioners' court, we want to make sure that we take a reasonable amount of time to ensure that the successor that we appoint to this important office is someone that will serve the best interest of Ellis County. We have already had expressions of interest from multiple people," said Ellis County Judge Carol Bush during the commissioners' court held Tuesday, March 14. "At this time we have had about 10 individuals that have contacted either my office or one of the commissioner's offices to express their intent to submit a resume or offer themselves up as a candidate.”

Bush said the court wants to evaluate each candidate carefully to make sure the right person is chosen for the job.

“What we are going to do is have all expressions of interest be directed to the human resources department to Theresa Taylor. Within the next day, at some point, we will have up on our county website a link to the HR department. There will also be listed the basic qualifications to run for sheriff,” Bush said. “I know that many of those that have expressed interest are in law enforcement and are well aware of those qualifications. But I also want the public to be able to go on to that site and see what those minimum requirements would be and what the preferred requirements that the commissioners and I will be looking for in the candidate for sheriff. That will be laid out.”

Texas Local Government Code Chapter 87.041 authorizes the commissioners to appoint a successor. According to the Texas Government Code Chapter 85.001, the qualifications for sheriff include that the person be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old, resident of the state 12 months, resident of the county six months, registered to vote in the county, high school diploma or equivalent – baseline requirement and eligible to be licensed under section 1701.309 and 1709.312 of the Occupations Code.

Bush said once the human resources department collects resumes, cover letters and other relative documents, that those who meet the requirements will be set aside and then an interview schedule will be determined for candidates. The court will conduct interviews during a session of the commissioners' court. She also noted that there would be 72 hours notice given before the meeting.

“So nothing, unfortunately, happens over night but we will make sure we are following all of the rules relative to meetings for the commissioners' court and the open meetings act is abided by and will move from there,” Bush said. “I do want to say those that have expressed interest, I want to thank you for willingness to offer yourselves up and your services for public office. It is a position that I have said many times is incredibly critical to a community. Law enforcement is something that makes a community safe and a better place and we are going to be looking for that person that can lead this county in a positive direction for the foreseeable future. So thank you for your wiliness to come forward as applicants. Our goal will be to choose the best candidate for Ellis County.”

In other business the commissioners

• Approved a request for a final plat of Henry Estates located on the south side of Honeysuckle Road and 5,500 feet east of Sunrise Lane in the City of Waxahachie extraterritorial jurisdiction.

• Approved a final plat of the Sanctuary subdivision located on north side of Honeysuckle and 4,300 feet east of Sunrise Lane in the City of Waxahachie extraterritorial jurisdiction.

• Approved truck and distributor for Road and Bridge Precinct No. 2.

• Approved the county judge to sign an agreement for BAT Security for the Midlothian Tax Office.

• Approved the county judge to sign an affidavit of motor vehicle salvage retention form from Trident Insurance involving a 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe.

• Took no action to enact a burn ban

• Approved to appoint Alberto Mares to the Mansfield Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone.

• Approved a work order under the interlocal agreement with Palmer ISD for parking lot repair.

• Approved an interlocal agreement between the City of Milford and the county.

• Approved a contract with the Department of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide law enforcement services to the Lake Bardwell Project.

• Approved to accept a donation of up to 60,000 tons of crushed white rock from TRWDA.

• Approved to authorize the county judge to sign the fiscal year 2016 audit engagement letter with Pattillo, Brown and Hill L.L.P.

• Approved modifications to Joe White Tower.

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