Next steps for Angelina County: Who will fill in for Judge Lymbery?

Next steps for Angelina County: Who will fill in for Judge Lymbery?
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:55 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Angelina County Judge Meydon “Don” Lymbery was suspended as of Monday by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Now, the question of who will serve in his absence arises.

Cary Kirby, the Angelina County attorney, said the suspension will last for the duration of the criminal proceedings against Lymbery, who was indicted last week for allegedly violating the Open Meetings Act.

“There is a statute within the local government code that allows the county commissioners court to appoint another resident of the county to act as county judge for the duration of his suspension,” Kirby said.

Kirby said he anticipated that judge selection will occur at the next commissioners court meeting. But there is a possibility that three or more commissioners vote to call a special meeting before then. Pct. 1 Commissioner Rodney Paulette and Pct. 4 Commissioner Michael Steve Smith were also indicted but will continue in their current positions.

“The two commissioners are not subject to that commission as they’re not judges so they are able to continue with their jobs at this time. And the mere indictment in the criminal cases does not remove them from office or suspend their ability to act,” Kirby said.

Kirby said if Lymbery and Commissioners Smith and Paulette are found guilty of the criminal cases with which they’ve been indicted, they will automatically be removed from office.

“We don’t at this point have an active County Judge with their powers administratively to take care of matters such as grants and contract documents and things of that nature, but hopefully the court will bring this up at next week’s meeting and we will get a person appointed to act as County Judge.”

The next Angelina County Commissioners Court meeting is Tuesday, March 22nd at 10 a.m. at the Angelina County courthouse.


+ State commission suspends Angelina County judge without pay

+ Indictments for Angelina County judge, commissioners allege potential hires discussed during undisclosed meeting

+ Angelina County judge, 2 commissioners booked into jail for alleged illegal meeting

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