FORT WORTH — Gov. Rick Perry has appointed a Tarrant County prosecutor to serve as the judge for Criminal District Court No. 1, left open after Sharen Wilson stepped down to run for Tarrant County district attorney.Assistant Tarrant County District Attorney Elizabeth Beach, also a professor of criminal justice at Texas Christian University, will serve on the felony court bench until the next general election, according to a press release from the governor’s office. “I was elated and very surprised,” Beach said of the appointment. She had already filed preliminary paperwork in the Republican Party primary for Criminal Court No. 2, a misdemeanor court. However, she said she plans to withdraw from that election and run for Criminal District Court No. 1 in the March primary.“I am very grateful to Governor Perry for the honor of this appointment and I look forward to serving as judge of Criminal District Court No. 1,” Beach said. Wilson stepped down in September after announcing her plan to run in the GOP primary for district attorney. Wilson is prohibited by state law from serving as judge while seeking another office. Wilson had been a felony criminal district court judge since 1990. Beach is a former felony prosecutor for the Dallas County district attorney’s office and a former assistant city attorney for the City of Dallas.Beach has casework to tie up with the district attorney’s office, but said she expects to be sworn in as the criminal district judge within the next two weeks.
Caty Hirst, 817-390-7984 Twitter: @catyhirst