Lufkin Happenings – New Asst City Manager, Teen Court Appeal
The City of Lufkin recently revealed that Brian W. Bray has been appointed as its new assistant city manager. Bray will report to City Manager Kevin Gee and serve as the assistant city manager of general services alongside Gerald Williamson who is the assistant city manager of public service.
Bray was selected following an extensive search and interview process that occurred over the past several months. He spent the past 20 years in various roles with the City of Nacogdoches – most recently as the Community Services Director and Historic Preservation Officer.
"Change can be both invigorating and challenging, but I am confident that with the talented staff at the City of Lufkin and its passionate citizens, we will achieve great things together," he said.
Gee said he believes Bray will be able to “hit the ground running” and quickly assimilate into the City of Lufkin culture. “I am confident that he will be a great addition to our leadership team,” Gee said.
Teen Court Seeking Volunteers and Sponsors
The City of Lufkin is seeking participants and sponsors as it kicks off its new Teen Court program this fall. The program provides area high school students an opportunity to learn more about criminal justice and the court system while serving as jurors, bailiffs, prosecuting attorneys, or defense attorneys.
Teen Court enables teens who pled guilty or no contest to certain Class C misdemeanors to have their case tried by peers.
“Teen court volunteers will be presenting the case, introducing all evidence, and questioning the witnesses, including the police officers who wrote the citation,” City Attorney Kristi Skillern said. “For the juvenile defendants, it is an opportunity for reduced court costs, accountability, and the ability to have the citation dismissed if the sentence is completed.”
The sentence would also include community service and future jury service on the Teen Court as well as any other requirements of the judge.
“This program is basically a “win-win” for all parties involved,” Skillern said. “The community also benefits from reducing court backlog, reducing future cases by teaching accountability, and creating community service opportunities for teens in the area.”
The program is overseen by Skillern, Lufkin Municipal Court Administrator Lisa Ramos, Judge Chad Vier, and Juvenile Case Manager Cara Blair. The City recently added Blair to its LMC team as she has a degree in social work and a heart for children.
Teen Court is currently seeking participants for the 2023-’24 school year. Interested students must apply by Sept. 1. Applications for teen court volunteers are available online. Teen Court will be held once a month, except during December. (Tentative) docket dates:
- Oct. 23, 2023
- Nov. 13, 2023
- Jan. 29, 2024
Participants must be enrolled in an Angelina County high school (or homeschool) for the 2023-2024 school year, available during court dates, and willing to commit to one school year.
Students selected from the applicant pool must attend training on Sept. 22, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Lufkin Municipal Court at 222 E. Shepherd Ave. Attorneys and bailiffs will be chosen, and the remainder will serve as jurors.
In addition to learning about criminal justice and the legal system, Teen Court benefits include community involvement and skill development in critical thinking, teamwork, and public speaking.
For questions, contact Blair at 936-633-0259 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or view FAQs and additional information here.
Left to Right - Cara Blair, Juvenile Case Manager, Municipal Court Judge Chad Vier, Court Administrator Lisa Ramos, and City Attorney Kristi Skillern