An unethical question

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 8, 2006

To the Editor:

As I have said before, running for Probate Judge in Dallas County is a real “hoot.” The picture starts to become clearer and clearer as the campaign begins to take focus!

The question that seems to be unanswered is “Who will fill my opponent’s vacant seat if he is lucky enough to win?” It’s a long, long time between now and Nov 7, 2006!

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In June, I had the opportunity to place this question before my opponent on the local radio program “Viewpoint.”

It was obvious he was caught off guard, but managed to respond with “I have recommended Mr. Larry Nichols who ran against me in the last election and did quite well; but, it will be the Commission’s decision after I am elected.”

I thought it was the governor’s decision – perhaps my mistake!

Here’s where the “ethical” question comes into the picture.

Why would my opponent even suggest someone at this time unless he is to benefit from his recommendation?

I have met Mr. Nichols and he appears to be a very honest and gracious man who is deeply concerned about his community.

I enjoyed meeting him and no doubt he would be a good Commissioner; however, with this recommendation my opponent has just secured a large percentage of the voters who favored Mr. Nichols during the last election.

This would be a great “political move” if you don’t get caught by your opposition. I wonder how the remaining voters in this district feel about his decision. If I resided in this district and had any ambitions of seeking this position I would be deeply, deeply concerned by such action.

Being a fair and honest person, I unlike my opponent, would have never solicited an individual to fill my vacancy until after the election.

This definitely has the appearance to many as a “deal being cut” for votes. I certainly see this as a tremendous difference between the two of us. I personally, would have step down from my Commission seat before ever making a recommendation for this position.

Since my opponent stated on Viewpoint, “God has blessed me financially and I can do all the right things for all the right motives.”

He also said “I have been in office for 19 years and do not know what I make as a Commissioner since I never see my pay check. My wife gets it and spends it.”

If these are true facts stepping down from his Commission seat should not be a factor.

If allowable by law, I am quite sure the remaining three commissioners are very capable of selecting someone to fill the vacant position.

After all, they will be up for reelection in two years so I am sure that would be on their mind; on the other hand, it may be the governor who has the authority. I personally feel my opponent should resign immediately as County Commissioner so there will be “No Misconception of Unethical Conduct on His Part as a Candidate for Probate Judge.”

This is the American Way. Isn’t it??? A little food for thought!

Col. Brock Wells

Candidate for Probate Judge