Laura Richard Precinct 4 JP
By Elsa Maxey
Laura Richard, widow of former Justice of the Peace Jim Richard, who passed away on May 20, is assuming his duties as Justice of the Peace in Precinct 4. Her first day at the Dairy Ashford office was this Monday, when she signed warrants and tended to other duties, according to a staff member of the precinct office.
Unannounced to the public or the media, except to what appears to have been the Houston Chronicle which took photos and did an interview, shares a reliable source, the occasion for the administration of the oath of office by Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert to Laura Richard last week in his office took place on Thursday, May 30. The county then sent out a brief news release the next day about the Judge’s action, which also stated that Richard “was unanimously appointed by Commissioners Court to fill out the unexpired portion of his (Jim Richard’s) term which runs through December 31 of this year.” Widow’s succession is a common practice that takes place when a politician who dies while holding office is succeeded by his widow through election or appointment.
Richard’s husband served Fort Bend County as an attorney and former Fort Bend County Assistant District Attorney before his election to the JP Precinct 4 office in 1998, where he worked for the past 16 years. Reportedly, he handled a court caseload ranging from 7,000 – 12,000 cases per year, none of which were reversed on appeal. He is also credited for writing a law in 1998 allowing state funded women’s shelters to collect from batterers in domestic violence cases.
In addition to assuming the JP office, Richard is currently seeking election for the office of Fort Bend County Clerk. She most recently served as Executive Director of Fort Bend Cares and previously as Executive Director of Mental Health America Fort Bend County. Richard has a bachelor’s degree with a double major in management and marketing from Houston Baptist University.
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