Winkler County Attorney Candidate Speaks About Losing His License in 1999

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

WINKLER COUNTY -Continuing coverage on the race for County Attorney in Winkler County.       As NewsWest 9 reported last week, a local attorney with ties to a prostitution scandal in Odessa, is one of the candidates vying for the position.

As we found out, his opponent, the current Assistant County Attorney, had his own run in with the law, in the state of Missouri.

In an exclusive interview, Steve Taliaferro spoke with NewsWest 9 about the charges he faced and what his plans are for Winkler County, if he's elected on March 4th.

Although residents in the quiet town of Kermit weren't willing to talk on camera about how they feel about the candidates in the upcoming election for County Attorney, they were more than willing to share printed pieces of information they found on one of the candidates.

Steve Taliaferro spoke candidly with NewsWest 9 about the charges he faced in the state of Missouri, and the consequences of his plea back in 1999.

Taliaferro told us, "There were two allegations.  As a result of those complaints,  I ended up with two Class "C" Misdemeanors.  It caused me some problems with the Missouri bar, but those have all been resolved."

He was quick to assure us, his license to practice law in the state of Texas, was never in jeopardy.  He added, "The Texas bar investigated it, and took no action."

All that aside, Taliaferro says the main focus of this election should be in the present and the future of Kermit and Winkler County.

The Assistant County Attorney commented, "I'm not getting into any mud slinging with anybody.  My campaign is based on the fact that my home is here in Kermit.  I live here. I work here everyday.  I have eight years experience as County prosecuting Attorney, and I am active in this community.  And that's my campaign."

Current County Attorney Thomas Cameron also spoke to us.   He says that although both candidates have "skeletons in their closets", that should have no effect on the outcome of the election.

Cameron added, "You have to look at the parties.  Both parties have something similar, so I think you just have to address which one will do the best job for Kermit."

Taliaferro agrees, "I think everybody has probably something in their past that they are not too proud of.  I think the campaign ought to be based on the merits of your ability as an Attorney, and what you can do for this county."

Regardless of what the outcome is, Cameron is confident his successor will do a good job.

He says, "They are both licensed lawyers, so I think they would both be competent to be County Attorney."

And as for the "scandals", his reaction was, "The rumors coming out of small towns are a lot worse than what the actual facts are."