Demand made for Williamson County D.A. to resign

A group of business and political leaders has called for the resignation of Williamson County D.A. Jana Duty. The call comes after Duty was placed on probation by the State Bar Association.

With the old courthouse serving as a backdrop Wednesday morning, and invoking the name of legendary  prosecutor Dan Moody, a group lead by local cattle rancher Jim Schwertner made it clear: the current D.A. must go.

"I, along with other community leaders on the stage, demand that Jana Duty step down and resign her position as District Attorney of Williamson County by sunset this Friday," said Schwertner.

The demand comes after the State Bar Association put District Attorney Jana Duty on probation. The 18 month long judgement was the result of duty violating a gag order last year .

The ruling stems from a controversial murder case where Duty was also accused of withholding evidence.

For the past several months, she has made few public appearances; even during the recent campaign season. That has fueled claims the D.A.  rarely shows up for work and prompted this payroll question by Schwertner.

"Who gave her the day off?"

Williamson County J.P. Bill Gravell also voiced concern that the judicial system is being short changed.

"The fact is she is largely absent from her post. This makes doing my job, as a judge in this community, more challenging and more difficult to serve the people of Williamson County effectively and properly," said Gravell.

The group calling for Duty's resignation included County Judge Dan Gattis. When asked if he has tried to mediate this festering situation Gattis, who is essentially the CEO of Williamson County, said he didn't have the authority.

"My door is open, we've tried from that stand point, I don't think there will be any conversation, no," said Gattis.

Duty lost her re-election bid to Republican rival Shawn Dick earlier this year. Her term in office wraps up at the end of December.

Duty did not immediately respond to FOX 7's request for comment, but reportedly has said she will not quit. Her sister, Joette Schoolcraft, who attended the Wednesday event, said Duty is not speaking out because of the gag order; which originally got her into trouble.

"So she is, really laying low, but she is doing her job, every single day, how she is able to get up in the morning every single day is by the grace of god."  

Kim Polk, who supports the D.A., questioned the political motivations of those at the courthouse gathering.

"I think it just further tries to divide our city and it also tries to put the good old boy system in effect, and that's not what justice is about."

Into the justice system is where this may be heading.

If Duty doesn't resign the group plans to file a petition for a court hearing to force her out.