Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed former Dallas County Commissioner J.J. Koch to Dallas County’s Criminal District Court No. 2, according to The Dallas Express.

Koch is replacing Judge Nancy Kennedy, who was recently elected to Texas’ Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Before losing re-election in November, Koch was the only Republican on the Dallas County Commissioners Court. Now, he is the only Republican on the previously all-Democrat criminal district court.

Following his swearing-in on Wednesday, Koch thanked Abbott for his appointment in a statement provided to The Dallas Express.

“I am extremely grateful for Governor Abbott and his tremendous staff for giving me this opportunity to continue serving Dallas County. I will work tirelessly with the good people of our criminal justice system to ensure that justice is not delayed.”

Koch has previously expressed dissatisfaction with the criminal district court.

As a commissioner, he joined longtime Democrat commissioner John Wiley Price in accusing judges of not working enough hours to reduce a backlog of cases threatening to overwhelm Dallas County jails, which are currently 88 percent full. At one point, the two suggested withholding the county portion of each judge’s pay until the backlog is addressed.

Koch harshly criticized the criminal district court during the September 6, 2022, commissioners court meeting.

“Everything they have asked for, we have given them, and we have seen no change. At the very least they need to show they can knock down these numbers in the jail significantly. I don’t see them working with us in a meaningful manner until they know we mean business.”

As a Dallas County commissioner, Koch served on the county’s Civil Service Commission and Behavioral Health Leadership Team. Previously, he was a prosecutor for the Dallas County district attorney’s office, represented Dallas Police officers as a private attorney, and worked for Thomson Reuters as their director of legal solutions. Koch attended Duke University and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law.

Koch will serve the remainder of his predecessor’s term, which ends December 31, 2024.

Darrell Frost

Since graduating from Hillsdale College, Darrell has held key roles in winning political campaigns, managed a state legislator's Capitol office, and taught at a classical charter school. He enjoys participating in outdoor activities, playing the harmonica, and learning about the latest scientific developments.


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