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Judge Brown steps down to take Ark-Tex COG job

Judge Chris Brown

The search will soon be on for a new leader in Hopkins County as Judge Chris Brown will be recommended by the Ark-Tex Council of Governments search committee for their position of Executive Director. The Ark-Tex COG will be meeting for a final vote on the position, which oversees a $15 million budget, on Thursday, Oct. 31 at 10 a.m. in Omaha.

“I am still a bit shocked,” said Hopkins County Judge Chris Brown, stating the Board did not name any suggestions at the last meeting. Calling Hopkins County and Sulphur Springs his hometown, Judge Brown has held his current position for the past three years.

“We have a great Court! They might not let me leave,” Judge Brown said fondly. “This has been a hard decision to make [regarding his work and his family].” He is still sorting through all the details with his wife Lezley, but plans to accept the COG’s offer. Brown’s new office will be a 100 miles away in Texarkana.

“It is likely we will have to relocate,” said Judge Brown, who was informed of his recommendation at noon on Wednesday.

The Ark-Tex COG supervises 10 counties including: Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River, Titus of Texas and Miller County, Arkansas. The COG administers several programs including the Area of Aging, Trax Transportation, Census data and many others along with about 45 employees.

Current Executive Director L.D. Williamson has resigned his position to run for Red River County Judge.

The committee interviewed candidates for several hours before deciding on Judge Brown. The agenda for the COG meeting is scheduled to be posted on Tuesday, Oct. 22.

Judge Brown will soon call a special work session of the Hopkins County Commissioners, officially announcing his resignation. If he is appointed, Hopkins County Commissioners Court shall appoint a replacement to fill his office until the next election.