by Max Brantley
I've posted on our website a new report by David Koon on more funny business from Circuit Judge Willard Proctor's court. With a new man in charge in the county comptroller's office, Proctor (pictured at right) has been denied payments he's received in years past to take his entire staff to another state for a training retreat. The comptroller suggested he could hold the meeting more cheaply in Little Rock than in a Dallas hotel.
These retreats have been partially sponsored in the past by Proctor's personally created probation program, Cycle Breakers, which made headlines after a tough state audit found it in violation of a number of financial procedures. A related nonprofit he helped establish also was left holding the bag on a former school building it purchased for the program.
There's more. Proctor fired his court reporter, Neva Warford, when she said a back problem made it impossible for her to make the trip to the retreat. . (According to a program we received, the meetings begin each day with a prayer.) We've heard, too, about an interesting wrinkle in Proctor's probation program -- required book reports from a reading list that includes works of Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner and F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's been hard to fully report these stories because Proctor has so far not returned calls.