Acker vs. Reynolds dismissed
BY F.A. KRIFT
April 27, 2007 - 6:02PM
WARD COUNTY A political battle cooled off today when two elected prosecutors requested all removal suits they filed against each other be dismissed — halting a potential courtroom setting for heated civic strife in Ward County’s judicial ranks.
Stemming from the West Texas State School’s sexual assault scandal, District Attorney Randall Reynolds and County Attorney Kevin Acker filed removal petitions against each other April 10, both claiming official misconduct and incompetence against each other.
Judge Weldon Kirk accepted their dismissal requests this afternoon about two weeks after his assignment to the cases. Judge Bob Parks recused himself from the complaints.
The prosecutors asked for the suits’ dismissals in an April 23 letter signed by Reynolds and Acker.
Kirk also signed a dismissal order in a Reeves County removal suit filed against Reynolds by Patsy Elkins, a West Texas State School teacher, 143rd District Court coordinator Cathy Adams said.
Efforts to reach both Acker and Reynolds were unsuccessful this evening.
In his suit, Acker claimed Reynolds mishandled and improperly investigated the sexual assault cases against two former West Texas State School prison administrators as well as other cases.
Nearly two years passed before the administrators — John Paul Hernandez or Ray Brookins — faced charges from the complaints and only after the lack of prosecution earned statewide attention as state legislators began their dismantling of the Texas Youth Commission, which oversees the all-male youth prison in Pyote.
Before Acker filed the removal petition against Reynolds he contacted the district attorney by mail and suggested he resign instead of facing the civil trial.
Reynolds’ removal suit against Acker claimed Acker overstepped his official duties and tried to “intimidate” Reynolds to resign.