Orange County Judge Crooks unexpectedly resigns

Vidorian photo/George Garza

Orange County Judge Dean Crooks reads his letter of resignation from the Orange County Commissioners’ Court bench over which he presided for nearly one year. The Judge resigned in the face of a groundswell of public opposition that arose to his published stance on Orange County Economic Development questioning abatements and other property tax incentives.

Orange County Judge Dean T. Crooks resigned from his elected position as County Judge at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Orange County Commissioners’ Court meeting held on Wednesday morning, March 13, 2019. During the surprise announcement, Judge Crooks said that the effective date for his resignation would be on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 when the convened Commissioners’ Court would have an agenda item to consider accepting his resignation.

Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Court started out in an unusual manner as the Commissioners’ Courtroom was packed with standing room only spectators in the audience and spilling out of all three doors of the courtroom. According to one County Commissioner, the room was filled with community leaders, both elected and appointed, local business owners and operators and many rank and file residents and taxpayers of Orange County who were in the courtroom allegedly to make a public comment, ostensibly about Judge Crooks recent published stance on economic development and property tax incentives know as tax abatements. There were probably close to 100 persons trying to squeeze into the courtroom awaiting the 10:00 a.m. start time and their chance to come to the podium to speak out.



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