Texas lawmen meet in Ft. Worth for training and politics

Ft. WORTH, TX (KTRE) – Sheriffs from across the state of Texas are in Forth Worth this week for the Sheriffs' Association of Texas annual training conference.  Nacogdoches County sheriff Thomas Kerss leads the group, the only man to have the responsibility twice.

Before he left for the conference Sheriff Kerss reflected on the past year.  He said he's pleased to have helped about 50 budget poor counties buy equipment for a statewide computer data base.

"Through the governor's office and a grant set up by them the sheriff association is working on trying to bring those 50 counties on line into a shared system and that is almost a completed process. And that's something I'm very proud of that we've been able to do," Kerss said.

Kerss said the goals for next year include expanding the association's Austin headquarters and building a museum.  In addition, the association will work closely on legislative issues.

Both incumbent Governor Rick Perry and Democratic challenger Bill White addressed the state law officers Monday in search of their backing.

White told the officers he appreciated their hard work and dedication and hopes for their support in the November general election.  He also talked about recent news articles concerning a controversial land deal involving Governor Rick Perry.  White referred to an article by the Dallas Morning News that Perry bought a lot at Horseshoe Bay below market value and later sold it for well above.

The governor said he believes he paid fair market value when he bought the lot in 2000 for about 300-thousand dollars.  He sold the lot for 1.15-million dollars in 2007 and says people who sold land in that area at that time made a profit.

The governor said the deal was open, honest and transparent. Last year Governor Perry appointed a resort's vice president to the board of regents for Texas State University, but denies that it was a political favor.

The association is expected to vote on its endorsement of one of the candidates this week.

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