KEMPNER — A new city attorney will begin prosecuting municipal court cases after serving about five years doing the same job for larger cities.
Joel Lowry, who operates a primarily criminal defense and family law practice in Belton, is taking the reins as prosecuting attorney for Kempner. Lowry served in the same position for Houston for 2½ years and for Marlin for two years, after passing the state bar in 2006.
“For (Kempner), I will be bringing some experience and constancy,” Lowry said.
Serving Kempner is not even close to a full-time job, Mayor Gene Isenhour said. That is something Lowry understands, and one of the reasons the city replaced its former attorney.
“He understands that we are a small town,” Isenhour said. “He is interested in helping us and at the same time keeping up with municipal law.”
Kempner municipal courts see about four to six trials a year, said Frances Spinney, the city secretary. “We certainly don’t have a docket full of cases,” she said. “We have two trials pending and one of them has already been taken care of.”
The cases Lowry will prosecute include mostly traffic and city ordinance violations.
After spending some time in Houston and the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Lowry said he decided to head closer to home. Working with Kempner provides him another opportunity to practice outside his Belton office, he added.
“I grew up in Temple,” he said. “I have lived in Dallas and Houston and got tired of being stuck on the highway in traffic and came back where there is not as much traffic.”