By JAMES BRIGHT
ROCKWALL — Rockwall County Judge Jerry Hogan today released a statement this week regarding the lowering of the United States flag pole at the Rockwall County Courthouse earlier this year.
“There have been several inquiries to me along with letters to the editor of the various newspapers, asking about the current status of the issue concerning the flagpole at the new Courthouse,” he said. “After the shortened flagpole was discovered, the Rockwall County Sheriff requested the assistance of the Texas Rangers in investigating the incident. This investigation was concluded several months ago. Because a county official was involved, First Administrative Judicial Region, Judge John Ovard, then assigned the issue to a Special Prosecutor, Mr. David Lobingier of the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s office, to determine what, if any, action needed to be taken.”
Hogan said Lobingier is in the process of completing his work on the case.
“In discussion with him, he has advised me that he intends to have a proposed resolution to the issue by the end of August,” Hogan said. Unfortunately the County has no authority or ability to speed the judicial process. Once a decision has been reached, the citizens of our county will be promptly informed as to the final resolution.”
Precinct One County Commissioner Jerry Wimpee admitted to having the flag pole lowered early this year in order to bring it in accordance with Texas Flag code. The action violates the federal flag code, which states that the U.S. flag should fly at least five feet higher and to the right of other flags it is stands with.
The unilateral decision made by Wimpee brought criticism from several veteran groups.
Hogan also spoke to speculation by some that this issue was not being addressed by the proper authorities.
“Please rest assured that the issue is not being ‘swept under the rug and forgotten’ as some have stated,” he said.
Jerry Hogan’s quotes were provided via email in a prepared statement.