Commissioner seeks re-election despite criminal charges - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Commissioner seeks re-election despite criminal charges

Ricky LaPrade. Photo Source: Van Zandt County Jail. Ricky LaPrade. Photo Source: Van Zandt County Jail.

VAN ZANDT COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - An elected East Texas official was in court Thursday, fighting charges of his own.

Van Zandt County Commissioner Ricky LaPrade is charged with DUI, resisting arrest, unlawful carrying of a weapon and misapplication of fiduciary property.

Today was the pre-trial and first of many court dates for the commissioner.

With his seat up for re-election, LaPrade said he is still going to win re-election.

"It'll be my fourth time... when I win," LaPrade said.

A fourth term in office -- one he's not worried about sealing.

"I've had a lot of support, a lot of people call me, a lot of people put signs up in their yards.. it has been real good,"  LaPrade said.

But things haven't always been so good.
LaPrade was arrested for DUI in April and again in July.
With four criminal charges and another pending, the commissioner said he has no concerns about losing his seat in the next election. Or losing his seat any other way for that matter.

"I'm not worried about anything right now," he said.

Not worried about the re-election or that he could be found guilty when his case goes to trial.

And as far as being a good commissioner is concerned, this resident isn't complaining

"I live out in the county and he has kept my roads up good. As far as doing his job, to me, he has done a good job. If he runs, I'll have to think about it," said a precinct 1 resident in Van Zandt County.

Others said LaPrade is no longer fit to serve Van Zandt County.

"Not the way he conducts himself off the job or on the job for that matter. I don't think he's in the best interest for our children to look up to. Not with his track record. We need a new one," said another precinct 1 voter.

But LaPrade remains confident.

"I think the truth will come out in the end, like I've said before," he said.

And for now, this innocent-until-proven-guilty commissioner is kicking of yet another campaign.

An evidence hearing is set for late November, and the case is expected to go to trial at the beginning of next year.

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