Trent Favre has a tough job ahead and we wish him the best.
Favre was named County Court judge by Gov. Phil Bryant on Tuesday. Starting Jan. 1, Favre will preside over misdemeanor cases, some felony preliminary hearings and some civil cases where less than $200,000 is in question.
And, he’ll also handle youth cases, which we believe will be his biggest challenge.
Youth cases, which include children being turned over to the state’s Department of Child Protection Services agency, have plagued Hancock County for years. A Sun Herald investigation sparked by problems in Hancock County depicted a system out of control. The state has since made significant changes.
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Favre’s appointment is one of them. He’ll take over Hancock County’s first County Court on Jan. 1, including the Youth Court and Youth Drug Court, which had been presided over by referee Elise Deano. Deano, who has been the referee for five years, promised the supervisors she would help make the transition smooth. We thank her for her service and that pledge.
Favre has a lot on his plate, but he has a lot of experience and backing, too. He is city attorney for Bay St. Louis, a job he’ll have to give up. He has almost 20 years in private practice, experience as a county, city and justice court prosecutor and was attorney for Hancock Medical Center and the county E-911 Commission. He graduated cum laude from Millsaps College and earned a law degree from the University of Mississippi.
“Trent’s extensive experience in private practice, including his representation of governmental entities, will serve him and the people of Hancock County well in his new role,” Bryant said in the press release announcing the appointment. “I am pleased he has accepted this appointment.”
We agree. We think the governor made a good choice. Favre will serve in an interim capacity until the Nov. 8 election, when voters will get a say. That’s a system much more accountable than the current setup.
We commend the Board of Supervisors for making a bold move, passing a resolution asking Bryant to create the court and Bryant for following through on the request. The supervisors showed foresight. Counties with more than 50,000 people have to have a County Court and while Hancock County is under that threshold, the 2020 census is likely to find that Hancock County has more than 50,000 people.
“We felt establishing the court would serve the youth and residents of Hancock County well sooner rather than later with local accountability, oversight and communication,” said Supervisors President Blaine LaFontaine.
We agree. And we hope this is the beginning of better days for the parents and children of Hancock County.
The editorial represents the views of the Sun Herald editorial board. Opinions of columnists and cartoonists are their own.