Brown County Judge denies allegations of wrongdoing at political forum

The campaign season is in full swing and several candidates looking for votes in the March primaries took part in a political forum at Howard Payne University.

The Early Chamber of Commerce organized the forum and candidates for State House of Representative District 60 and Brown County Commissioner of Precinct 2 answered questions from the audience.

But the biggest attention was directed toward the county judge’s race, where Dr. Paul Lilly is challenging incumbent Ray West. Judge West defended himself concerning recent allegations that he was investigated for engaging in wrongdoing.

"I can categorically deny all of the allegations against me, that's back up by the highest investigatory body in the state," West said.

KTXS learned last December Judge West was investigated for public corruption by the Texas Attorney General's Office, but they chose not to prosecute.

Moreover, a former Brown County Elections Office employee claimed West and County Attorney Shane Britton retaliated against her after she reported West to state agencies.

West said in both cases he was cleared.

Lilly told the crowd a judge should lead by example.

"What is right is right, what is wrong is wrong. I don't care who you are, I don't care what your name is," Lilly said.

Both candidates also seemed to disagree when asked whether Brown County should have a veteran's treatment court.

"There are protections for those defendants who suffer from [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder}. This county can't afford a PTSD court," West said.

Lilly said he supports having a veteran's treatment court and he'll look for grants that can fund one.

"As you can imagine, I completely disagree with the county judge," Lilly said. "I am, as a psychologist, wholly and completely in favor of a veteran's court."

Early voting begins on Feb. 20 and the primary is Mar. 6.

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