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Trinity Standard - Local News
Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company

Montemayor is new sheriff
Trinity Standard - December 2008

GROVETON – Veteran Game Warden Ralph Montemayor of Groveton was sworn in last week as the new Trinity County Sheriff, replacing the late Brent Lee.

Montemayor was one of six men who sought the sheriff’s appointment from the Trinity County Commissioners Court during a special meeting held Thursday, Dec. 11.

Following a closed session lasting about two hours, the commissioners voted unanimously to name Montemayor to the office.

He was sworn in by County Judge Mark Evans about 30 minutes later and began work.

Following the appointment, Montemayor voiced his sympathy for Lee’s family and thanked the commissioners for their confidence in him.

“I will try to the best of my ability to do the best job possible for the people of Trinity County,” he said. “I want everyone to know that my door is always open.”

Following his appointment, Montemayor said that it was too early to announce any major changes coming to the sheriff’s department but said he planned to emphasize professionalism and multi-agency cooperation.

On Friday, the new sheriff did promote Deputy Sheriff Harold Goggans to the post of chief deputy.

The appointment of the new sheriff followed the Thanksgiving morning death of Lee, who was killed in a one-car accident while responding to a call in the Pinecrest Estates subdivision south of Trinity.

Lee was appointed to the sheriff’s post in June after winning the Democratic Primary runoff election against former Sheriff Steven Jones. The former sheriff resigned June 19 to accept the position of Trinity police chief, clearing the way for Lee’s appointment.

Lee was unopposed for the office in the November general election and was scheduled to begin his own four-year term on Jan. 1.

Montemayor’s appointment will run through the next general election scheduled for November 2010. The winner of that election will serve out the remaining two years on Lee’s term, which would have expired Dec. 31, 2012.

During last week’s special meeting, in addition to Montemayor, commissioners interviewed five other candidates behind closed doors. They included Deputy Sheriff Mark Moscinski, former Trinity Police Chief Lynn Gentry, Chief Deputy and Acting Sheriff Donald Fisher, Pct. 1 Constable Woody Wallace and Mark Cole of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Office of Inspector General.

Pct. 3 Commissioner Cecil Webb of Trinity made the motion to name Montemayor but praised all six candidates. Pct. 2 Commissioner Jannette Hortman seconded the motion and the vote for Montemayor was unanimous.

The new sheriff will celebrate his 50th birthday this month and will mark his 26th year in Trinity County in February.

He joined the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department as a game warden in 1982 and after completing the game warden’s academy was assigned to work in Trinity County.

He currently holds a master peace officer’s certificate from the state.

He is a graduate of Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville and attended Lon Morris College in Jacksonville.

The new sheriff and his wife, Susie, have three children and six grandchildren.




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Copyright 2008
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