KILLEEN - Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown will stand trial to determine if she is fit for her job.
The decision was handed down at a hearing at the Bell County Justice Complex Thursday afternoon. This comes after a local lawyer filed a petition to remove Brown saying her 4 billion dollar bond ruling was unconstitutional.
About 50 people attended the hearing including several Bell County officials and Killeen city council members. There were so many people, some had to sit in the seats usually reserved for the jury just so they wouldn't have to stand outside, waiting and wondering what would happen.
Brown left the courtroom with mixed reactions after learning she won't be suspended from her job for now but will have to stand trial to determine if she should continue in her position.
"I'm taking it seriously since I've been on the stand. I am very happy for the challenge to get the truth out there and I believe that I can get to the truth" says Brown.
Brett Pritchard, the lawyer who is heading up Brown's removal efforts says she made Texas a laughing stock with her controversial bonds and is questioning her sanity.
"Having done cases a lot dealing with mental health I am a little bit concerned with the way she answered her questions, there might be some issues there" says Pritchard.
Judge Brown fired back.
"I didn't know I would have to take the stand I didn't have a piece of paper with me but i used what was on my heart, in my head and just stated plain and simply what is the truth" says Brown.
She went on to question Pritchards motives in wanting her gone.
"People are asking do you want to play the race card well the race card is a fact in almost everything in America unfortunately" says Brown.
Brown represented herself today but it wasn't for lack of searching for representation. She says she contacted several lawyers and they refused to take the case.
"It's very political here in Bell County nobody wanted to get involved because people want to get elected and keep their jobs" says Brown.
She says she will search for an attorney for her upcoming trial and is confident the judge will look at her education experience, leadership and character and rule in her favor.
Judge Stephen Ables heard the arguments in the Bell County 169th District Court.
Brown will be formally served with a copy of Pritchard's removal petition. An order scheduling the trial should be placed within the next two months.
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