Precinct 2 Constable Andy Dunklin will continue to serve as he runs for Justice of the Peace Precinct 2.
Dunklin announced last week he would run for the seat held by Judge Gary Alfred. Smith County officials said according to Texas law, Dunklin’s intent to run automatically serves as a resignation.
The Commissioners Court is authorized to appoint a holdover replacement until a new constable is elected, however they are not obligated to do so.
On Tuesday Alfred confirmed to the Tyler Morning Telegraph that he is retiring at the end of his term.
“I do want to continue to serve, but if you do vote to replace me, I certainly understand the implications of running for office,” Dunklin told the commissioners.
County Judge Nathaniel Moran said the question before the court was whether it was necessary to appoint a successor at this time.
“The resignation is effective already, but he’s still in office until we appoint a successor,” Moran said.
“Replacement is not required by the statute, I see no compelling public interest in appointing a replacement.”
The court voted not to appoint a replacement at this time.
The commissioners also heard from the public on the status of Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson, who surrendered himself to federal custody on Friday after being convicted of tax evasion.
Resident Tim Kane felt Jackson’s refusal to resign is a continuation of a pattern of defrauding taxpayers.
“If you continue to pay his salary, knowing that he is unable to perform the duties of the office, are you not aiding and abetting a second defrauding of taxpayers of this county?” Kane said.
Kane did recognize the difficulty of removing an elected official from office.
In other business, the county also reviewed a proposal from MuniServices for transparency software that would make navigating the county’s budget easier for residents.
At a cost of $9,000 annually, commissioners said they needed time to mull the proposal before making a decision.
The commissioners also reviewed applications for the county’s new Fleet Manager position, but took no action.