Gov. Rick Perry today appointed Kerr County Attorney Melvin “Rex” Emerson of Kerrville to the 198th District Court bench that Emil Karl Prohl vacated last month. On Oct. 20, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct released a voluntary agreement to resign in lieu of discipline that Prohl signed Sept. 23. As alleged, the commission received complaints in July 2008 alleging that Prohl “was biased in favor of the District Attorney of the 198th Judicial District as a result of the District Attorney’s largess towards the judge, which involved funds that had been seized from criminal defendants.” Ron Sutton, who was the district attorney at the time the complaints were filed, calls the allegations in the complaints “absolutely ridiculous.” Emerson, a graduate of St. Mary’s University School of Law, has served as Kerr County attorney since January 2005. Emerson will have to begin campaigning for election to the court post almost immediately. Ilse Bailey, the assistant county attorney, says Emerson will be a candidate for the 198th District Court seat in the March 2010 Republican primary.
-- Mary Alice Robbins