City judge faces Aug. 17 firing
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - For the second time in August, municipal Judge Sylvia Lopez Beaver’s job will be up for discussion among the city council.
Beaver, first appointed to the non-lawyer job in 1997, has collected over $6 million for the city, $4.7 million of the total in revenue coming from when legal analysts accused her of serving in her job unlawfully.
Beaver’s much-maligned actions stem from her arraignments at the Ellis County jail when Waxahachie police transfer suspects from their jail cells to the county.
For a first-time misdemeanor offense, lawyers like Mark Griffith have said Beaver hits suspects on $35,000 and $50,000 bonds.
Three councilmen are needed to fire Beaver and replace her with another judge and at the Aug.17 meeting at City Hall, one councilman who asked not to be named said he believes the third vote will make the change.
Aside from lawyers and Constitutional rights advocates, many in the local media have helped push for Beaver’s ouster.
Former Justice of the Peace Paul Perry, a columnist with a local daily paper, has devoted much of his weekly platform for Beaver to be removed.
An English as a Second Language teacher of the Waxahachie Independent School District, Beaver routinely hands out steep fines and fees on WISD students who come before her.
Beaver’s job was discussed in a closed-door executive session last week.
The debate, according to city officials, centers on how to replace a figure that has brought in millions in revenue.
However, critics of Beaver and the city have said the U.S. Constitution’s excessive bail amendment is continually violated whenever Beaver sets suspects’ bonds.