By Sahar Chmais
Even with all the recommendations that Judge Linda Rodriguez received to temporarily take the seat of County Court at Law (CCL) Judge #3, she did not get the position. In a 3-2 vote, the new CCL #3 judge will be Daniel O’Brien.
At last week’s meeting of County Commissioners Court, commissioners decided to accept applications to temporarily fill in the CCL #3 judge position and many residents requested the consideration of Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been handling cases for CCL #3 as a visiting judge after Millie Thompson resigned the position. Rodriguez has been a judge for 24 years.
“I still feel Judge Linda Rodriguez would do a wonderful job,” said Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe at this week’s meeting. “She is there currently serving in that capacity, knows the ropes and would be able to get in there and is doing the job until someone is elected to fill that position.”
Commissioner Walt Smith suggested that O’Brien, an attorney out of Dripping Springs, fill in the temporary position. Commissioners Mark Jones and Lon Shell voted for O’Brien, but Ingalsbe and Judge Ruben Becerra voted no. Becerra congratulated O’Brien on his new position.
The commissioners spoke highly of the applicants, including Rodriguez, but they did not have an extensive discussion on the reason behind their final decision.
“I just want to compliment all of the applicants, no matter the outcome of our discussion,” Smith said. “I want to say I am a big personal fan of Judge Linda Rodriguez and that I anticipate bringing back another agenda item after discussions … to possibly create an associate position there or provide additional funding relative to a visiting judgeship.”
Smith said that having the extra help will be useful given the backlog that has been created due to COVID-19. Jones also said that he looks forward to the motions that will be brought forth by Smith on creating another position for Rodriguez.