TAC Cybersecurity Training Registration Open

Did you see the Texas Association of Counties’ (TAC) legislative newsletter today? It announced that registration is open for TAC’s cybersecurity training course that is certified by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR).

This course satisfies the annual cybersecurity training requirement for county employees and is free to all Texas counties.

Click here for more information.

February 2020 Spotlight – Gwen Hughes, Clerk, Dawson County

Gwen Hughes, Clerk 2
Dawson County


I was born and raised in Lamesa.  I have lived in Austin, San Antonio, Tyler, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Crescent City, California.  California was nice for a West Texas girl because I could hear the ocean and the sea lions from my yard, I was ten minutes from the redwoods, and it rained almost 24/7.  It was like living in a rain cloud.  I have worked in real estate, insurance regulation, the medical field, and solar farm construction.  I am single, have one son and two shih tzus.  I like to garden, read, and spend time with friends.  I came back home to Lamesa to care for my mom.


I was searching for a job that would make a difference in people’s lives.  The clerk position in the Justice of the Peace office became available, and I applied.  It has been interesting and rewarding.


My office loves to celebrate holidays and birthdays.  Our clerks decorate for those celebrations which creates an enjoyable, cheerful atmosphere.  The public appreciates our cheerful office.  The judge sets the tone for the office as a helpful, happy place to work.


My co-workers are the best part of my job.  We are blessed to have a great staff.  Each one has a unique personality.  They come to work with a good attitude, smiling faces, and ready to solve the challenges of the day.


Patience is a very good quality to have as a clerk.  We are the only Justice of the Peace office in Dawson County.  We are a high-volume office with many phone calls and walk-ins asking questions and taking care of their business.  We do our best to help each one in the most pleasant, accurate way possible.

January 2020 Spotlight – Constable Lee R. Callan, Menard County

Tell us a bit about yourself:
My name is Lee R. Callan. I am a native of Menard County, Texas. I grew up on my family’s ranch which is located on a railroad depot at Callan, Texas. I am 5th generation rancher and own a material construction business. After high school, I graduated from Angelo State University where I assisted the collegiate track team. I enjoyed serving on the board of directors for West Texas Boys Ranch. I am a Master Peace Officer and certified TCLOE Instructor. Currently, I am attending the Texas Association of Counties Leadership 254 Class. I am Texan to the core but I cheer for LSU and went to the National Championship game. GO TIGERS!

What made you decide to become a constable?
My interest and service in law enforcement comes from a family tradition. My great, great grandfather was a Texas Ranger and founding judge of Menard County. My grandfather was a practicing attorney. About 20 years ago, I was encouraged by a Justice of the Peace to run for Constable. I went to the law enforcement academy “later in life” in order to become a certified peace officer. I want to give back to my community which has given so much to me.

What is something innovative, interesting, or fun your office does?
I am a pilot and I use my R44 helicopter to assist law enforcement in this and surrounding counties when I can for search and rescue missions. I was able to locate a four year old girl that had been missing for about five hours in a rural area. She was about a mile and a half from her house in the middle of pasture and it was near dark. I used to scuba dive and was part of group of volunteers that was asked to locate a deceased person in a large lake.

What is the best part of your job?
The best part of my job is the people I serve, not only in Menard County but the great State of Texas. Menard is a small town and I enjoy knowing just about everyone. On Halloween, I drive around to hand out candy to the children on the same streets I trick or treated on 60 years ago. I serve as a bailiff in all the courts in Menard County including our five county District Court. I frequently serve as security at events like football, basketball and other meetings as the community requests. I have a positive relationship with our Sheriff’s Office and assist when needed. In my small town, escorting a funeral or parade is an honor and I am blessed to be involved.


Legal Board Question of the Month

January 2020

Question: Just needed a bit of clarification please. The new time pay fee ($15): is this only on tickets that are written after Jan 1st (and set up on payment plan, etc.) or any ticket that is set up after Jan 1st for payment plan, etc. Thank you.

Answer: Yes. The Time Payment Reimbursement Fee that became effective January 1, 2020, will apply to all fees assessed after that date, regardless of the date of offense or the date of the conviction. Please see page 19 of the Fines, Fees, & Costs Deskbook for a detailed description of when the Time Payment Reimbursement Fee applies, as there are some differences from the previous version of the Time Payment Fee assessed prior to 1/1/2020. The Deskbooks can be found at: https://www.tjctc.org/tjctc-resources/Deskbooks.html