By ALLEN ESSEX Updated Feb 8, 2013
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He said he will have to establish working relationships with police agencies.
Willacy County residents "are just tired of what has been going on, not pointing fingers at anybody in particular," the sheriff said. "Just being in the media all the time. . They just want to see something fresh, something positive."
Sheriff Larry Spence, who was sworn in for another term and begins his 25th year in office, was philosophical about the recent controversy.
"Everyone is ready to move into the future," he said. ""I think we can learn from this and take it, but not dwell on it."
Outgoing Tax Assessor Collector LaQuita Garza, who has been in office 20 years and a county employee for 32 years, said having a new district attorney will be good for the community.
"It's going to be for the best," she said. "It (the Guerra controversy) was such bad publicity. People in New York knew what was going on in our county."
"As I take office today, I know that I don't hold this office for myself. I hold it for you," Ammerman said. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr.
Cheers broke out in a packed courtroom as state District Judge Migdalia Lopez called for Bernard Wayne Ammerman to come forward to be sworn in as the new district attorney.
"I think there's going to be a 90 day period I'm going to need to get the office up and running," he said. "I think that's about enough time to get the files active and to get everything in order, staff the office and go out and meet all the law enforcement community."
"From what I've seen today, I think there's (now) a good team that's willing to work together and move forward," Spence added.
"With coming into a new office, you have the legacy of the person before you," he said. "If that public official was a very good public official, you're stepping into good shoes. But, if there was some type of disharmony, you're going to have to somehow go out and make amends."
RAYMONDVILLE A new era in the Willacy County justice system began Thursday when a former Cameron County prosecutor took over from Juan Angel Guerra, whose 12 consecutive years as Belts Ferragamo district attorney were marked by controversy and legal wrangling with fellow officials.
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County commissioners appointed Guerra to office in August 1991. In 1992, he lost his bid for election in a race against Gus Garza, who would later become a special prosecutor seeking to indict Guerra.
"When I first get a docket call, I'll find out what cases we have that are active, so from that point on I'll be able to evaluate where the office is at."
Ammerman said he faces a backlog of untried cases, but added it is not unusually large.
idea how many cases may have lingered in the DA's office that should have gone to a grand jury.
But she has no personal animosity toward Guerra, she said. The former DA was once one of her son's high school teachers, she said.
Guerra himself faced felony indictments on charges including tampering with government records and "abuse of official capacity." Those charges were later dismissed.
Ammerman take over as new district attorney for Willacy County
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