Interim Smith County constable aims to ‘restore and renew’ integrity in office

Ralph Caraway Jr. selected to lead constable’s office following temporary suspension of Curtis Traylor-Harris
Ralph Caraway Jr. selected to lead constable’s office following temporary suspension of Curtis Traylor-Harris
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:20 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Interim Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Ralph Caraway Jr. hopes to restore integrity to the office he’s been tasked with leading.

A visiting judge appointed Caraway to the interim position last Thursday following the temporary suspension of Curtis Traylor-Harris.

“My job and my responsibility is to make sure that every day we come to work that we understand the role and the integrity of this job,” Caraway told KLTV on Tuesday.

Caraway’s name topped a list of three candidates for the interim position given to the visiting district court judge by the county judge and commissioners.

With the integrity of the office put into question following the arrest of Traylor-Harris and two deputy constables, Caraway is working to restore it.

“My hope and prayer right now is that we can restore and renew the integrity and the mindset that you can trust. Not only this office, but you can trust the people that are here working in this office,” Caraway said.

Caraway’s experience includes his most recent work as an investigator in the district attorney’s office. He started his career in 2005 as a Smith County jailer before working in several positions at the Smith County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our main focus is just carry out the duties of office,” Caraway said. “Carry out the duties of the office, do what we’ve been trained to do. Do what we’ve been licensed to do, and that is to protect and serve first of all.”

And while doing just that, Caraway said he’s working to restore order and organization to the office.

“We will hold the integrity of this office in place. Not only myself but those that are licensed and will be licensed to work under our direction. Just know that from day one we’ve come in and we will make sure that we are posing integrity at all times in this office.”

Traylor-Harris remains in the Gregg County Jail. His suspension could become permanent pending the outcome of either a civil case against him or the criminal charges he faces in another court.

County constables serve four year terms in Texas. If Traylor-Harris is not reinstated, a special election would be needed in order to officially name a new constable prior to 2024, when Traylor-Harris’ term was set to expire.

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