STATE BAR DIRECTOR SPOTLIGHT OCTOBER 2022
Interview by Will Korn
Photo courtesy of Jason Charbonnet
Hometown: Fort Worth
Position: Justice of the Peace, Tarrant County, Precinct 6
Board Member: Public member since 2021
I spent most of my law enforcement career as a detective.
The cases I investigated exposed me to an expanded view of the law, and the more I experienced, the more I liked it. Law enforcement officers have a lot of contact with justices of the peace while performing their duties. I often thought that being a JP would be an excellent way to continue my service to the citizens of Tarrant County.
I remember being as young as 6 years old and wanting to be a police officer. My parents often tell stories of me being a young boy and expressing my dream. As I grew up, my interest in the law increased. I have always liked working outside and talking to people face to face, so being a police officer was a great fit and the best decision of my life. Becoming a JP has allowed me to bring my love for public service to a different level of law enforcement.
When I entered law enforcement, my goal was to help and serve the public to the best of my ability. I was raised and taught to always do what is fair and right in every aspect of life. This is how I have lived my life and raised my family. My main goal for conducting business as a JP has been to be a good listener, follow the law, and refrain from legislating from the bench. Doing the right thing is not always easy, but I can lay my head down at night and know I have done my absolute best to be fair and just. I also believe the goal of any public servant should be to provide efficient service to the citizens and be a good steward of taxpayers’ money. I am proud to say I run my court this way daily.
I put in an application to the governor’s office to be appointed to a board or commission. I did this to continue my public service and give back to the state that I love so much. The governor’s office called and told me that they reviewed my application and asked if I would be interested in serving the State Bar as a director. I was honored to assist in any way, but I will tell you that I was excited that the State Bar wanted me to serve.
This being my second year and coming out of COVID lockdowns, we are not yet fully up and running, in person. But I am very proud to have worked with former Chair Santos Vargas and now getting to interact with Chair Chad Baruch to further the mission of the State Bar, which is quite fulfilling. The knowledge and willingness of all the board members to serve the state of Texas is very inspiring. I think the greatest contribution I can make to the State Bar is to bring the perspective of a seasoned law enforcement officer to the board. I am very proud to be able to contribute this “street wise” perspective.
It is about the members of the bar and the public. Part of our mission statement is “enable its members to better serve their clients and the public.” We should never lose focus on this mission. If we begin to think about ourselves and our self-interests, then we have failed. At the close of every meeting, we recite the mission statement aloud to reiterate the reason we are all serving.TBJ