5 things to know: Monday - FOX34 Lubbock

5 things to know: Monday

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Hockley County DA disqualified by judge in several cases

LEVELLAND, Texas - Hockley County Judge Pat Phelan has disqualified the county's District Attorney after Lubbock based attorneys Christina Woods and Laurie Key both filed motions to disqualify Christopher Dennis for prosecutorial vindictiveness.

Woods filed the motion after she received several texts saying all pending plea offers were revoked which she said stems from a disagreement on an unrelated case.

"My argument was that by withdrawing these offers he was standing between my clients and their attorney, which is a constitutionally protected right, along with some of his behavior then and later which I argue he's violated some very serious ethical issues and I guess the judge agreed with me," Woods said.

Dennis said he disagrees. He said his withdrawal of plea deals is nothing more than negotiation tactics. He filed for a writ of mandamus in the 7th Court of Appeals. He asked the panel to order Judge Phelan to withdraw his order. The motion was denied on the basis of lack of evidence. Dennis said he plans to appeal.

We reached out to Judge Phelan for comment on the case, he refused.

GOP Commissioner candidates raise public safety concerns over budget proposal

LUBBOCK, Texas - A week ago, the Lubbock County commissioners sent out a budget memo, informing departments who submitted budget requests that many of those will not be met. 

This is all because of an effective tax rate that is one cent less than the current tax rate.

Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe said this decision will only cause a rippling effect.

"Bottom line is we cannot sacrifice on certain things," Rowe said "i'm not going to sit there tell you, the public, or my staff in that matter because we didn't get budgeted for increase cost in body armor, we're not going to provide it, we'll provide it, but it'll be at the cost of something else down the road."

The budget proposal will be open to the public on the 31st, a public meeting will follow if needed.

Commissioners plan to adopt the budget and tax rate on September 10th.

First Progressive Baptist starts SWAG mentorship program

LUBBOCK, Texas - The rain around the area Saturday couldn't keep the folks at First Progressive Baptist Church from coming out.

Celebrating the opening of its new mentorship program. Pastor Deshun Avery said he felt called to start swag after witnessing the deficiencies facing his community.

"Some of our kids are about three years behind levels of where they need to be in math and english," Avery said. "So what we really need to do is provide something so that when they get home, some of them may not even know how to start their homework and so what we want to do is come along side of them and help in that way."

Avery and his church are looking to bring as many kids into the program as possible.

Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy case: Read court order following Aug. 16 hearing

LUBBOCK, Texas - As we reported Thursday in the Reagor-Dykes bankruptcy case, most terms issued earlier in the month were extended through August 30. This includes the use of cash collateral to keep dealerships operating on a bare-bones budget.

This is the court order that details what was agreed and ordered in Thursday's hearing.

Trump calls Russia probe "McCarthyism at its 'WORST'
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) - President Donald Trump insists that his White House counsel isn't a "RAT" like the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon, and he is blasting the ongoing Russia investigation as "McCarthyism."
Trump, in a series of angry tweets Sunday, denounced a New York Times story that his White House counsel, Don McGahn, has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team investigating Russian election meddling and potential collusion with Trump's Republican campaign.
And Trump disputed any suggestion that his lawyer was being a John Dean-type 'RAT.'" The New York Times said it stands by its story.
Dean, a frequent critic of the president, was the White House counsel for Nixon during the Watergate scandal.

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