BY MITCH MITCHELL
FORT WORTH — A Tarrant County judicial board fired a criminal court magistrate on Thursday following an investigation into his actions that began in mid-September.
Tarrant County Magistrate Cheyenne Minick, 48, was terminated after a 17-1 vote of the Tarrant County District and Statutory County Court Judges Trying Criminal Cases board. Tarrant County Criminal Court Judge Cheril Hardy was the lone dissenting vote.
Minick, who was magistrate for more than four years, made nearly $129,780 annually. Minick would not comment on the possible reasons for his termination or the nature of the complaints against him.
“While I am personally devastated by the actions of the Tarrant County judiciary today I will move forward,” Minick said. “I respect the Tarrant County judiciary and their judgment. I plan to reopen my defense practice and will be accepting clients starting on Monday.”
Three of the judges who voted to fire Minick would not say what triggered the investigation into his behavior or why the board made the decision to fire him.
Board Chairman Phil Sorrells said Minick was an at-will employee and the same people who hired him fired him. There is no avenue for appeal that Minick could use, Sorrells said.
“We can’t discuss complaints,” Sorrells said.
Magistrates typically handle arraignments, pleas, bond hearings, warrant approvals, attorney appointments and other duties assigned by the county’s elected criminal court judges.
Minick was appointed in August 2009 to fill the magistrate’s post left vacant when Allan Butcher retired. Minick’s name rose to the top after a five-judge committee narrowed a field of 35 applicants to six finalists.
Minick received his law degree from Texas Wesleyan University in 1997 and has no disciplinary sanctions reported to the State Bar of Texas.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752 Twitter: @mitchmitchel3