Saturday, January 7, 2017


By Ben Neece
Former Presiding Municipal Court Judge
From the mchalereport.blogspot

(The Honorable Ben Neece retired at the turn of the year from the municipal court after an impressive tenure. The longtime presiding judge took to the mainstream press and the internet to express his sentiments upon turning a new page in his life. Here are his words:)
It has been my honor and privilege to have served you for the last 32 years as a Municipal Judge for our fine city. At 61, I have served more than half of my life as a Judge.

Since August 20, 1984, when I was first appointed, and especially after 2006 when I became the Presiding Judge, I have striven to serve the public to the best of my ability and to afford you with all of the guarantees provided for in the Constitutions of our State and the United States.

I have always been cognizant of the impact of fines and other consequences of our laws and regulations on our citizens, especially on the less fortunate. I have developed programs to lessen the burden placed on offenders by the state while still instilling responsibility for their actions.

We have a “safe haven” court in Brownsville, which means that if a warrant has been issued, you won’t be arrested if you come to court voluntarily.

We have a very successful community service program as well, which provides an alternative way to meet obligations to the city and state.

We have developed extensive due process safeguards in our arraignment procedures, including having a prosecutor, public defender, law enforcement case prep officer, and pre-trial services representative attending our morning magistration hearings. We strive to keep the safety of the public in mind when dealing with those accused of violent crimes while providing the accused with meaningful due process.

I am especially proud of our Juvenile Justice System, which serves juveniles from ages 10 to 16. With a budget of approximately $18,000 per year, we have put together a teen court and system of counseling and remedial services that address: 1.) substance abuse issues; 2.) behavioral issues; 3.) gang related offenses; 4.) internet addiction.

We have had very positive results with all of these programs. Included in the teen court is our Community Gardens project initiated in 2006, which has been a model for other similar garden projects implemented throughout Brownsville.

We have also met the mandates of the State legislation creating truancy courts. Working closely with Dr. Esperanza Zendejas of the Brownsville Independent School District and Mr. Luis Saenz, Esq., the Cameron County District Attorney, we established one of the state’s first truancy courts at Brownsville Municipal Court and have been serving the district since shortly after passage of the legislation.

I believe that the citizens of Brownsville know that the Municipal Court protects the rights of citizens, not the interests of government and I am proud to have been a part of this conception.

I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to serve Brownsville and wish to express this sentiment by this correspondence.

With every ending, there is a new beginning. I intend to focus more on the practice of law and trading of commodities, but I will still be here to serve the citizens of Brownsville, albeit in a different capacity.

I’d also like to make a special shout out to the Law Enforcement Community of Brownsville and Cameron County, from the Federal level to the Local level, especially in light of my recent abduction in Africa.

We are fortunate to be served by these individuals and our community is much safer because of their efforts. They do their best to prevent and prosecute criminal behavior, limited only by the resources we provide them. Remember to support their efforts and provide the necessary tools to protect our community.

As I announce my retirement, I bow to the Citizens of Brownsville and offer the Anjali Mudra in humble appreciation of the confidence they have had in my public service. I thank Mr. Charlie Cabler and his predecessors, back to Mr. Kenneth Lieck who originally appointed me, for their confidence in my ability to serve. I hope I have met the expectations of all as I originally prayed I would.


Anonymous said...

Pasame el churro Ben

Anonymous said...

Hope he serves the people not his old bosses

Anonymous said...

Hassle looks like a Pendejo, vato bofo!!

Anonymous said...

Montoya.. no intereso la nota