Next Tarrant County DA ready to make moves

Print
Email
|

by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

WFAA

Posted on March 18, 2014 at 10:00 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 19 at 9:22 AM

FORT WORTH — Sharen Wilson, the presumptive Tarrant County District Attorney, still has eight months until she takes over the office.

But she isn't just sitting around and waiting.

Wilson said she is busy meeting with county officials and current staff in the DA's office.

She will be the first female district attorney in the office's 95-year history.

"Women lawyers in town have been very excited. I've heard from them. It is kind of a milestone," she told News 8 in her first television or radio interview since winning the Republican primary.

Since there is no Democratic challenger in the general election, Wilson is looking beyond this year and into 2015 when she takes over.

She will review the office's efficiency, and make retaining the top assistant district attorneys her top priority.

"I definitely want them to stay," she said.

She also wants to focus on crimes against the elderly by perhaps setting up a special prosecuting unit.

Wilson also weighed in on a variety of high-profile cases that have placed the office in the public eye more than usual recently.

She said the Ethan Couch decision — where the teen was sentenced to probation and rehab after killing four people in a drunk driving accident — wouldn't have played out that way in adult court.

"He likely wouldn't have gotten that sentence," the former judge said. "Not from me."

The DA's office also represented John Peter Smith Hospital when it refused to remove a pregnant, brain-dead mother from life support against the wishes of the family.

The Marlise Munoz case drew national attention.

Wilson defended the office — and the hospital — saying they acted correctly.

"They examined the law... testimony from doctors. It was how it was supposed to be.And difficult. That kind of decision I don't think should be easy," she said.

Wilson campaigned against what she called a "scandal-ridden" office, a reference to current DA Joe Shannon's problems last year.

A former employee accused Shannon of sexual harassment. A $375,000, no-fault settlement was agreed upon. Wilson said it's time to move forward for the better.

She said it's too early to discuss other specifics of what might change in the office, but added a full review will be conducted.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|