SHELBY COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - The new year has ushered in a new chapter for Shelby County leadership with the first day of work for District Attorney Stephen Shires and his staff.
Shires is a Center native, and he returned to his hometown over a decade ago to practice law.
"I was born and raised in Shelby County, and after graduating from University of Texas Law School, I worked in Houston for a while before returning here," Shires said.
For the last year, he has been transitioning into his new role after learning the former district attorney would not seek reelection. Now as he moves forward, he said the most important thing for the next chapter in Shelby County leadership is to build a quality staff who works towards a common goal.
"We have adopted a sort of credo which is, 'one team, one fight,'" Shires said. "In other words, this means that all law enforcement leadership in the surrounding counties have to be on the same page working toward a common goal."
He said that after forming a successful office staff, the second most important decision his office makes is selecting a quality lead detective. In this case, he feels selecting Joey Haley was the best decision he could have made.
"Joey is perfect for the job; he is very smart, and capable," Shires said. "I could not have picked a better person for the position."
Shires, also a Shelby County native, is a former officer for the Center Police Department. He said he is not only excited to be in the area working for his hometown, but he's proud to be working for Shires.
"It truly is an honor to be working for Shires, and to be back home," Haley said. "The decisions Shires has to make are literally life or death. If he will send someone to prison that can define someone's life, I know he doesn't take that lightly, and I trust he will do his best."
It was an unlikely beginning for the duo who met in the courtroom, but not on the same side of the bench.
"The first time I met Shires, he cross-examined me in a case for a guy I arrested, and after that was done, I gained a lot of respect for him," Haley said. "I think he is an outstanding attorney, but I gained respect because of his ethics."
Now the two will unite for one common purpose, which is to keep Shelby County safe.
"The first priority is to keep the community safe from the people who are just not going to behave have to be removed from civilized society," Shires said.
Although Haley and Shires have been working in the office transitioning to their new roles, the team's first official day of work began this morning.
"Stephen has shared his vision with me, and that vision is awesome, and I think he is the right man to do it," Haley said. "I think we have an opportunity in Shelby County to do a lot of good things."