Choosing a District Attorney in Waller County, Texas

There are many names associated with Waller County, Texas, and the office of the district attorney. William Parham, Sylvia Cedillo, Oliver S. Kitzman, and Thomas Diepraam are just a few. Each had a different approach to prosecuting crime. But how have they fared in the office? What can voters expect from their elected district attorney? Here are some things to consider when choosing a district attorney in Waller County.

William Parham

Bill Parham, the current acting criminal district attorney for Waller County, was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry on Aug. 20 to serve until the general election on Nov. 2. Parham will replace Oliver Kitzman, who resigned midterm last month after a scandal involving voting rights for students at Prairie View A&M University. Parham will serve the remaining two years of Kitzman’s term, which runs through June 2018. He will face Sylvia Cedillo, a civil rights attorney and director of the Domestic Violence Project at Prairie View A&M University. Both candidates were nominated by county executive committees but were placed on the general election ballot by their respective party leaders.

Sebesta declined to comment on Parham’s restructuring of staff members, saying that it was not uncommon for a district attorney to make changes when the top prosecutor changes. Parham’s budget surplus of $236,000 was turned over to Burleson and Washington county officials. The District Attorney’s office said it would return the funds to the counties. Although Mueller has not yet decided on her next job, she said she expects Parham to face similar challenges.

Sylvia Cedillo

If you are considering running for office in Waller County, Texas, you should think about this – candidate Cynthia Cedillo is black and seeking a second term as Waller County District Attorney. Cedillo is accused of three misdemeanors: witnessing four early voting applications; failing to register as a voter; and being “unlawfully present” in an early voting area. Each of these misdemeanors carries a maximum fine of $2,000 and 180 days in jail.

The Green Group is politically-connected, and the District Attorney should be careful to protect the community from them. She has paid people to perform services for her organization, such as voting to allow a landfill along Highway 6. She has voted to support the landfill project. This group has a history of supporting environmental causes and opposing public safety. The Green Group has spent money paying people to perform services that have been criticized by many residents.

Oliver S. Kitzman

This case is a prime example of how political bias and race can play a role in determining a court’s decision. Recently, the NAACP chapter at Prairie View A&M University filed a lawsuit against the hosting county of the university for voting discrimination and racially discriminatory practices. Although the lawsuit was unsuccessful, it prompted Kitzman to issue a formal apology to the students. The letter should be carefully considered by officials in North Carolina.

During his tenure as the criminal district attorney in Waller County, Kitzman served his community in a variety of capacities. He was also a member of the Texas Aggie Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas Criminal Law Section, and the National District Attorneys Association. In addition to his duties as the district attorney, Kitzman served as president of the Texas Aggie Bar Association and the Gideons International.

Thomas Diepraam

Until now, it was unclear whether Thomas Diepraam, the Waller County District Attorney, would prosecute the teenager for rolling coal. Elton Mathis, the elected DA of Waller County, has named Diepraam as a Special Prosecutor in the Sandra Bland case. Diepraam, who is not originally from Waller County, has experience in several Texas jurisdictions. He is also a former Harris County prosecutor, where he helped establish the first vehicular crime division. He is also skilled in crash reconstruction.

The Texas prosecutor was the first in Texas to bring felony murder charges against a drunk driver. Lomax was sentenced to 55 years in prison in March 2003 after a fatal car accident. His blood alcohol content was 0.23 percent. Diepraam said his client’s blood alcohol content was 0.23 percent when he hit the victim. However, the jury couldn’t determine the motive, since the evidence did not reveal the actual killer.

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