Aldermen to Act Soon on Re-Appointment of City Judge

August 26, 2012
by: 
Dwayne Page
Hilton Conger

The term of Smithville Municipal Judge Hilton Conger ends this week and while Conger will most likely be re-appointed to a new two year term, the aldermen have not yet addressed the issue.

Conger's current two year term expires August 31st.

His salary as City Judge is $1,000 per month.

The Smithville Mayor and Aldermen are scheduled to meet in special session Monday night at 5:00 p.m. at city hall, but only for the purpose of a public hearing and second reading action on an ordinance requiring absentee only voting for city property rights voters in the city liquor referendum in November. The next regular meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen is Monday, September 17 at 7:00 p.m. at city hall. There will be no meeting on Labor Day, September 3.

The Municipal Court, up until 2002, had the same jurisdiction in city criminal cases as the General Sessions Court, and the City Judge held court several times each month with the City Attorney serving as Prosecutor.

After changes were made in the City Charter, the City Court's jurisdiction was reduced to mostly minor traffic offenses and city ordinance violations. The court now convenes usually once per month.

The City Judge, previously elected by city voters to an eight year term, now serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, appointed to a two year term.

Conger was last elected as City Judge in 1998. He was named to his first appointed term in 2006 and re-appointed in 2008 and 2010.

The changes in the City Charter, regarding the City Court, came following a State Attorney General's opinion in the fall of 2001 that only the District Attorney General and his staff had the responsibility of prosecuting state criminal action in municipal courts.

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