Tyler Co. judge asking DA to step down for good of county

Tyler Co. judge asking DA to step down for good of county
Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette (Source: Tyler County website)
Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette (Source: Tyler County website)
Tyler County District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy (Source: campaign material)
Tyler County District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy (Source: campaign material)

TYLER COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette has made an appeal to Tyler County District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy to step down from her position for the good of the county.

Blanchette said he sent an e-mail to Cloy last Friday stating his concerns to the DA that was elected in 2014.

"In light of recent events, the time has come to call for you to step down from your position. I've had many visits from citizens as well as both elected and appointed officials over the last year out of frustration for your absence, avoid, stall, and delay actions," Blanchette wrote in his e-mail. "It's thwarting the needs of all of the aforementioned as well as all of us who have needs for the services of the Tyler County Criminal District Attorney. You are a very talented and capable person, but your actions are thwarting the daily needs of all the aforementioned. I wish you only the best."

East Texas News talked to Blanchette over the phone from a meeting in Beaumont.

"My experiences and beliefs [in this] are from the seat of where I am viewing the game," Blanchette said. "I'm viewing this from the facts. How many trials, pleas, and dismissals have been done? This is not political. I have no vengeance. I am just concerned because it is hurting the efforts of all of us."

Blanchette said he also forwarded to the e-mail to several officials on the state level.

"I cannot remove her from office," Blanchette said. "It will have to come from a citizen that files a petition."

Issues with Cloy were first expressed to East Texas News in September of 2015 by Jim Maddox and Rhonda Humphus, the parents of the victims in the Westfall murder trial.

"To see that we're going on two years into this, and we haven't even really gone to court on this yet is extremely frustrating," Maddox said. "She promised by the 15th of every month, she would call us even if it had to be after hours, but not one word since that time."

At the time, Humphus, claimed she has gotten news from others and not Cloy when it came to the case.

"Every piece of information, I've had to call for," Humphus said. "I've heard stuff on the street. I would like to get it from the DA first. Hopefully, with the Attorney General's Office that is going to change, and we will get the information before the public does. If people are concerned then call me. I am busy. This job is more than sitting behind a desk. I do not have an investigator so sometimes I am out looking at things for cases. "

Shortly after the article ran, the Attorney General stepped in on the case.

According to Maddox, Humphus has started a petition to turn in to the Clerk's office asking for the removal of Cloy.

Cloy provided KTRE with a statement on the matter.

"I'm not stepping down," Cloy said. "I believe this is a witch hunt. I believe this is a personal grudge. Blanchette is a supporter of my opponent when I ran in 2014."

Cloy said allegations have also been brought up that she has abused alcohol. Cloy has denied those allegations and last week went and took a drug test that came back negative.

In regards to the complaints by Maddox and Humphus, Cloy said the concerns should have been brought up while the former DA was in office.

"I wasn't the DA when that case started," Cloy said. "For eight months I, had no help. After five months, I had to call the Attorney General to help me. What else was I suppose to do? They should have gone after my predecessor."

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