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October 14th, 2008
Former Texas Ranger Ratliff appointed to justice of the peace bench

MERCURY PHOTO

Former Texas Ranger Tommy Ratliff and wife Caroline talk to Pct. 3 Commissioner Will Conley after Ratliff’s appointment Tuesday to fill Justice of the Peace O. Lamont Ramage’s unexpired term.

STAFF REPORT

Recently retired Texas Ranger Tommy Ratliff was appointed this morning to serve out the remaining two years of Pct. 5 Justice of the Peace O. Lamont Ramage’s term following his resignation for health reasons effective Jan. 1.

Justice of the Peace O. Lamont Ramage

Justice of the Peace O. Lamont Ramage

On Pct. 2 Commissioner Jeff Barton’s recommendation, the commissioners court unanimously made the appointment before a courtroom audience that included Ramage, Ratliff and well-wishers for both men.

“I can’t give anybody more of an endorsement than I can Tommy Ratliff,” said Sheriff Allen Bridges.

Retiring after 14 years as the Buda area justice of the peace and 41 years in correctional work, Ramage wrote in a Sept. 3 resignation letter, “I guess you could say I’m somewhat tired.”

Telling the court he would arrange to have Ratliff sworn in the early morning of Jan. 1, Ramage said, “Shortly after that he might have an inquest. Hopefully it won’t be mine.”

Ratliff recently retired from the Texas Rangers as sergeant, after 21 years of service. He was the Ranger for the Hays, Caldwell and Blanco Counties, and opened the first permanent Ranger office in Hays County. He investigated major crimes, allegations against law enforcement, and public corruption.

“Everyone who knows him testifies to his high ethical standards and well-grounded common sense. He has the character to follow a distinguished line of community justices in Buda,” Barton said.

His great-great grandfather, John Salmon, was also a Texas Ranger. He lives near Neiderwald and Uhland in eastern Hays County with his wife Caroline, a Kyle native. Ratliff said he intends to run for a full justice of the peace term in 2010 as a Democrat.

– BRAD ROLLINS

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