(ROCKWALL, TX — Jan. 3, 2017) Rockwall began the new year with the swearing in of 13 elected county officials inside a packed third floor courtroom of the Historic Courthouse on Sunday, Jan. 1.
Rockwall County Judge David Sweet kicked things off with a welcome and introduction, followed by the pledges and a prayer led by County Commissioner Lee Gilbert. The event was emceed by County Commissioner David Magness.
382nd District Judge Brett Hall
Judge Brett Hall is a lifelong resident of Rockwall County. He is a graduate of SMU Law School and was licensed to practice law in 1978. He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Rockwall, an active member of the Rockwall Rotary Club, past President of the Rockwall Bar Association, and graduate of the Texas College for Judicial Studies; Serving as Judge for the 382nd District Court from 2001 to the present, thanks to the great support of friends and family and especially his wife Karen, and his daughters Sarah and Amanda.
County Judge David Sweet (left) swears in County Court at Law Judge Brian Williams.
County Court at Law Judge Brian Williams
Brian Williams has been the Presiding Judge for the Rockwall County Court at Law since December 2010. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Williams served as the Chief of the Civil Division of the Rockwall County Criminal District Attorney’s Office. Judge Williams grew up in Rockwall and graduated from Rockwall High School in 1990. He received his undergraduate degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and his law degree from Southern Methodist University. Judge Williams and his wife Beth are the proud parents of two young boys. The Williams are enthusiastic supporters of the Rockwall County community.
County Commissioner Precinct 1 Cliff Sevier
Cliff Sevier will begin his second term as Rockwall County Commissioner for Precinct 1. Sevier is a retired Command Sergeant Major having served in the US Army. Prior to his service as commissioner Cliff was employed as a project manager for Siemens. He served the citizens of the City of Rockwall as a council member for three terms and was Mayor Pro Tem for one of those years. He is the proud father of three boys and one girl, and was joined Sunday by his wife Teresa and sons Collin and Mason.
439th District Judge David Rakow (right) is sworn in by County Judge David Sweet.
439th District Judge David Rakow
Judge David Rakow grew up in Rockwall and graduated from Rockwall High School in 1987. He graduated from the University of Texas with a major in accounting. He received his law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law. Judge Rakow started his career in Kaufman County as a prosecutor and eventually returned to Rockwall as a prosecutor in The Rockwall County District Attorney’s office. He was the first elected judge to the newly created Rockwall County Court at Law in 2004. He was appointed by Governor Rick Perry in 2010 as first Judge of the 439th District Court and has since been elected to that Court in 2012 and 2016. Judge Rakow is married to Amy and recently celebrated their 20th anniversary this December. They have two boys, Reid and Will.
County Commissioner Precinct 3 Dennis Bailey
Dennis Bailey was elected to his first term as County Commissioner in 2008. He was re-elected in 2012 and will now begin his third term. Prior to serving as commissioner, Bailey served the citizens of the City of Heath as a councilmember and as mayor. He is retired as a lobbyist for AT&T. Bailey is married to Kathy and they have one son, Jon, and two grandchildren, Sophie and Stone.
Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson takes his Oath of Office during Sunday's swearing in ceremony.
County Sheriff Harold Eavenson
Prior to being elected Sheriff of Rockwall County and taking office January 2001, Harold Eavenson managed his own consulting/investigative company for five years after spending 16 years as the Director of Security with First National Bank in Dallas. He also spent 18 years with the Texas Department of Public Safety. He will become the 76th President of the National Sheriffs’ Association in June of 2017. He is a member of the Rockwall Noon Rotary Club and served as President of the Rockwall County Republican Men’s Club in 2014. He served on the Board of Directors of the Rockwall YMCA as well as the Board of Directors of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). He and his wife, Marcia, have two children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren (twin girls). His son, Troy, is a Lieutenant with Royse City Police Department in Rockwall County. They are members of First Baptist Church in Rockwall.
Constable Precinct 1 John Benedetto
John Benedetto moved to Rockwall in 1983, is married with two sons, three grandchildren and one grand dog. He served as a Reserved Deputy Constable under Constable Randy Parks prior to taking office. John was elected to his first term as Constable Precinct One in 2012, was re-elected and will begin his second term this year. His office is responsible for all Constable duties plus protective orders generated from Women in Need presented by Rockwall District Attorney office, and child protective orders from CPS.
Justice of the Peace Liana Whitten is joined by her family as she is sworn in by Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Judge Jack James.
Justice of the Peace Liana Bell Whitten
Liana Whitten is a fifth-generation Rockwall County resident. She graduated from Royse City High School in 1995 and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Sam Houston State University in 1999. She worked for several Rockwall County attorneys and at the Rockwall County District Attorney’s office as a file clerk and as the Chief Felony Administrator. In running for political office, Liana followed in the footsteps of her father, Bill Bell, and grandfather, Glenn Cross, who served in both city and county positions. Liana is married to William Whitten, a Patrol Sergeant in Hunt County, and has two daughters, Bailey and Payton, who attend Royse City schools. She was sworn in Sunday for her second term as Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 by Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Judge Jack James. In addition to her husband and daughters, Liana was joined by her father and mother, former Rockwall County Judge Bill Bell and his wife Lucille.
Tax Assessor Kim Sweet is sworn in by Judge Brian Williams.
Tax Assessor Kim Sweet
Kim Sweet was appointed by the Commissioners Court in 2012 as the Rockwall County Tax Assessor after being the Republican nominee for ballot for the November election. Kim was elected in the November election of that year and was recently re-elected in the 2016 election, to begin her second full term. Kim and her family attend First Baptist Church of Rockwall. Kim is an active member of Soroptomist International of Rockwall and is currently the president elect. She was joined on Sunday by her husband, County Judge David Sweet, and her sons, Austin and Brody, as well as her mom and dad, Dwight and Judie Satterfield.
Constable Precinct 4 Randy Parks
Randy Earl Parks was sworn in Sunday to begin his fourth term as Constable for Rockwall County Precinct 4. Prior to his election as constable Randy served as Fire Investigator and Assistant Fire Marshal as well as executive assistant and bailiff for the County Judge and emergency management coordinator all for Rockwall County. He is also a former City of Rockwall Fireman. He was recognized by the Texas Senate, Texas House, Rockwall County Commissioners Court, Rockwall County District Attorney’s Office and Rockwall County Sherriff’s Office as well as City of Rockwall City Council for helping save the life of a Rockwall County citizen. He was awarded the Constable of the Year award from the State of Texas Justices of the Peace and Constables Association of Texas for 2014-2015.
Constable Precinct 3 Tom Egan
Tom Egan was sworn in for his second term as Constable for Precinct 3. He has a BS in criminal justice and has 32 years of law enforcement, all in Rockwall County.
Justice of The Peace Precinct 3 Mark Russo
Judge Mark Russo was elected in 2012 as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3. He previously served on the Rockwall City Council with Judge Sweet and Commissioner Sevier from 2008-2012 and was Mayor Pro-Tem 2011-2012. He was named Texas Young Republican Man of the Year in 2008 and Texas Senate District Republican Volunteer of the Year 2008-09. Judge Russo is married to Nicole and together they have a son, Alex. Judge Russo currently serves as board of director for Royse City Chamber, Rockwall County Historical Foundation, and the Bail Bond board. In attendance on Sunday was his mother Christina and her husband Randy and his cousin John.
Constable Precinct 2 Trey Chaney
Trey Chaney grew up in Royse City and graduated from Royse City High School in 1977. He obtained an intermediate certificate in police training and law enforcement from Eastfield College and worked for both Greenville and Rockwall Police Departments for 10 years. He has also previously served Rockwall County both as an appointed Constable and elected County Commissioner in Precinct 4. Chaney has been married to Janie Warren Chaney since 1982. They have two grown children, Rachel and Preston.
By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.
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