Bexar County commissioners appoint candidate to County Court-at-Law 1

October 3, 2018

Bexar County commissioners on Tuesday appointed prosecutor Helen Petry Stowe to a three-month term to fill the vacancy left by County Court-at-Law No. 1 John D. Fleming, who resigned for personal reasons in late September.

Fleming’s current term would have ended Dec. 31. He was the Republican nominee in the Nov. 6 general election, running against Stowe, the Democratic nominee. Fleming resigned too late for his party to name another candidate for the ballot, so it’s likely Stowe will be the winner.

That factored into the commissioners’ decision as did saving money. Because Stowe is already a county employee, the county will pay only the difference between her salary as an assistant district attorney and a judge’s salary instead of a full judge’s salary until December 31, when the current term expires.

Currently, the county is paying $500 a day to have a visiting judge handle the court’s docket.

Stowe, 40, was one of 14 applicants for the temporary judgeship. Commissioners narrowed the field to six individuals who were interviewed.

Bexar County spokeswoman Monica Ramos said Stowe will resign her current position with the district attorney’s office, close out her duties and then take the oath of office before starting her new job.

Stowe was an 8th grade teacher, then graduated from St. Mary’s University School of Law and has served as an assistant district attorney for 10 years.

During Tuesday’s session, Wolff lauded Stowe for her grasp of the law and understanding of human nature. He said her background as a former school teacher and years as a district attorney would be an advantage on the bench.

“We’re looking forward to you being a great judge,” Wolff said.

Stowe, who was in the audience, was called to the front. She thanked the court as she accepted the appointment.

Vincent T. Davis is a reporter in the Greater San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | vtdavis@express-news.net | Twitter: @vincentdavis

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