Visiting Judge to Hear Case to Oust Local District Attorney

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

WINKLER COUNTY--According to Winkler County Attorney Scott Tidwell, a visiting judge could be selected, by this week, to hear the details of the petition against Winkler and Crane County District Attorney Michael Fostel.

The reason for that is because District Judge James Rex has recused himself from the case. Tidwell says he plans to do the same. That's because both of them could possibly be called as witnesses.

As NewsWest 9 first reported, Tidwell filed the petition, submitted by Winkler County resident John Walton, who claims Michael Fostel can't be doing his job properly if he's out of the office so frequently.

Fostel says he has been out for medical reasons and that he had an agreement, approved by Tidwell and Judge Rex, to cover him during his absence.

Fostel claims there is a third party who wants him out, so he can take over his job. He would not give NewsWest 9 a name, but says the person is a well known Kermit attorney. He has been indirectly identified as City Attorney, Steve Talifeiro. At this time, NewsWest 9 has not been unable to verify that information.

Tidwell says, when he filed the petition against Fostel, he was only doing his job as the County Attorney. He says it's his responsibility to follow through when citizens or residents file these types of complaints and he has nothing personal to gain in the end.