State District Judge Bob Brotherton, of Wichita Falls, Texas, today (Thursday, March 21), appointed Ron Poole as the special prosecutor in Dallas County DA Craig Watkins' contempt of court hearing, according to the Dallas Morning News newspaper. Poole, who is a former resident of Wichita Falls, Texas, is currently serving as the First Assistant District Attorney in Cooke County, Texas.
Poole, who served as a prosecutor for the Dallas County District Attorney's Office from 1975 to 1981, was the chief prosecutor of the organized crime division under former DA Henry Wade. He has spent much of his life in Wichita Falls as he received a Bachelor Degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1972. He also graduated from Wichita Falls Rider High School. After leaving the Dallas DA's office he returned to Wichita Falls where he was in private practice from 1981 to 2008.
Poole earned his Juris Doctor Degree from Texas Tech Law University in 1974.
Brotherton, who was appointed to preside over the hearing, said he will set a date for Watkins' contempt of court hearing after the attorneys for both sides have an opportunity to confer.
Dallas State District Judge Lena Levario held Dallas DA Watkins in contempt of court March 7 for allegedly refusing to testify at a hearing looking into allegations of prosecutorial misconduct against him.
As a basis for his refusal to testify, Watkins said the work of his office including the work product of prosecutors should not be questioned in court.
The Dallas DA's office under the supervision of Watkins, had filed mortgage fraud charges against millionaire Al Hill. Attorneys for Hill claimed Watkins filed the charges against him as a favor to Watkins' friend and political benefactor Lisa Blue.
Attorneys are given a hearing if they are held in contempt of court. It is a de novo hearing, which means both sides are allowed to call witnesses and present evidence deemed relevant by Judge Brotherton.
The hearing is held in front of a different judge to prevent the appearance of abuse of power.
If Judge Brotherton upholds the contempt order, Levario will decide whether Watkins is fined, jailed or faces no sanctions.
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