New Hires: Dallas Morning News
Watkins picks two assistants
Reporter Robert Tharp has info on Watkins appointments.
File this one under Worst Kept Secrets in the Courthouse: District Attorney-elect Craig Watkins officially named Fort Worth attorney Terri Moore as his first assistant. Moore, who twice ran unsuccessfully for d.a. in Tarrant County(most recently last November), has been the odds-on bet for the job since her name began circulating three or four weeks ago.
A quote attributed to Moore in a Watkins press release this morning has her pledging to make “the necessary improvements to the District Attorney’s Office to restore safety and justice to Dallas County.’’ She is highly regarded in Tarrant County where she worked as a defense attorney and earlier as a deputy chief prosecutor for District Attorney Tim Curry and as a U.S. Attorney where she prosecuted the largest internet pornography case in U.S. history, among other things.
Watkins also named Dallas attorney Kevin Brooks to replace Toby Shook, who is going into private practice with Dan Hagood at Fitzpatrick, Hagood, Smith & Uhl. Brooks has been involved in plenty of high-profile trials in Dallas County, including the still-pending death penalty retrial of Thomas Miller-el, which was ordered by the U.S. Supreme Court out of concern that prosecutors unfairly excluded minority jurors from his 1986 trial. Brooks’ appointment further complicates the Miller-el trial schedule, which is set to begin the long jury-selection process in February, and raises questions of whether the district attorney’s office can prosecute it in-house.
The Watkins team has less than two holiday-laden weeks to get ready to take the reins January 1.
Note: I’ve known Ms. Moore and Mr. Brooks for years. In my opinion they will both do an excellent job. This is very positive news.