FROM STAFF REPORTS
Sheriff Gary Cutler is hosting a public reception next week for incoming District Attorney Wes Mau, who will soon assume the office he lost eight years ago in a rancorous campaign between two veteran prosecutors.
The event will be held 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 in the rotunda of the Hays County Government Center, 712 S. Stagecoach Trail.
With no Democratic Party opponent in November, Mau has been the county’s chief prosecutor-in-waiting for nearly eight months after winning his party’s March primary with about 58.2 percent of 7,879 votes. His four-year term as district attorney technically begins at midnight Dec. 31, however, new and returning officeholders regularly take their oaths of office hours or days beforehand.
Mau’s ascension to district attorney comes more than eight years after losing his first bid for the office. In 2006, Sherri Tibbe, then a Travis County assistant district attorney, won a 23-vote general election victory over Mau, then the first assistant district attorney under two-term incumbent Mike Wenk.
Since 2007, Mau has been a roving prosecutor assigned to the violent crimes and major offender section of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s criminal prosecutions division.
In 2008, he helped locals prosecute a man charged with killing two Henderson County sheriff’s deputies and wounding a third officer during a standoff with authorities. Randall Wayne Mays, then 48, was convicted of killing deputy Tony Ogburn and is scheduled to die by lethal injection in March.
In 2009 and 2010, Mau helped press child sexual assault and bigamy charges in Schneider County against a dozen members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, a rogue sect of the Salt Lake City-based Mormon church. He was the lead prosecutor in the March 2010 trial of Merril Leroy Jessop, then 35, who was sentenced to 75 years in prison after being convicted of illegally marrying a 15-year-old girl while living on the church’s Yearning for Zion Ranch compound in remote West Texas.
In his primary contest this spring, Mau marshaled nearly uniform support from local law enforcement officials and groups against Lynn Peach, a former prosecutor in Hays and Taylor counties. Mau was endorsed by the Hays County Law Enforcement Association, the Hill Country Fraternal Order of Police, the San Marcos Police Officers Association and the Kyle Police Association.