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Governor appoints Stoudt over jail standards board

By Jimmy Isaac
Oct. 28, 2016 at 4:22 p.m.

Gregg County judge Bill Stoudt introduces guest speaker Charles Krauthammer  during the UT Tyler Garland Distinguished Lecture series, on Tuesday October  25, 2016, at the Maude Cobb Convention and Activity Center.

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Gregg County Judge Bill Stoudt as the presiding officer on the state's Commission on Jail Standards.

"I'm extremely humbled, extremely," Stoudt said Friday. "With the confidence of the governor, I'll do the best job I can for him."

The commission establishes standards for the care and treatment of county prisoners, construction, maintenance and operation of county jails.

Abbott announced Friday that Stoudt's term on the commission lasts until 2019. Also appointed to the commission were Parkland Hospital-Dallas Executive Vice President Esmaeil Porsa and Lubbock County Sheriff Kelly Rowe, while Limestone County Sheriff Dennis Wilson was re-appointed.

The governor appoints members to more than 30 state oversight boards, including the Commission on Jail Standards, according to During a four-year term, a governor will make about 3,000 appointments.

Stoudt said his service on the Commission for Jail Standards won't negatively affect his responsibilities as county judge.

"The meetings are quarterly, and usually it's a day meeting and then you're finished and then you come back home," he said. "It would basically be one day every four months."

Stoudt is serving his fourth term as county judge, making him a central decision maker for the Gregg County Jail. The facility has underwent adjustments since the death of inmate Amy Lynn Cowling in 2010 — the county settled a lawsuit with Cowling's family in 2013.

In January, Stoudt and county commissioners hired a doctor to provide more frequent visits each week to jail. Regional mental health authority Community HealthCore now provides licensed screeners to help the jail meet newly enacted requirements written to help identify people with mental illness being booked into local lockups.

"Depending on how they answered (book-in questions), they may immediately need to be evaluated by a licensed physician and/or a licensed mental health professional," Stoudt said in January.

On Friday, Stoudt said he doesn't know whether his county jail's recent history factored in Abbott's decision.

"I can't really speak to how he made his decision, but I know that Gregg County Jail today is one of the examples that the state would like for how other jails to operate," Stoudt said, crediting Sheriff Maxey Cerliano with working "to get our jail operation in sync with what the state wants every jail to be like."

Stoudt is also a founder of Boys & Girls Club of Gregg County, a Centurion Club trustee and East Texas Council of Governments' 2013 Statesman of the Year.

Stoudt has served as Gregg County judge since 2003.

He is a member of the Texas Association of Counties, Gregg County Bail Bond Board and the Longview Rotary Club. He is chairman of the I-20 East Texas Corridor Advisory Committee, East Texas Council of Governments and the Gregg County Juvenile Board, and he is a community adviser for the Junior League of Longview. Additionally, he is a former director and former chairman of the Longview Economic Development Corp., Gregg County Appraisal District, City of Longview Higher Education Council, Cherokee Water Company and Regions Bank. Stoudt received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University.



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