Travis County considers settlement with Judge Julie Kocurek


AUSTIN (KXAN) — Travis County Commissioners will discuss and possibly vote on a settlement with Judge Julie Kocurek over how the county handled a threat made against her.

On Nov. 6, 2015, Kocurek was pulling into the driveway of her home when a suspect approached the vehicle and fired shots into her car. Kocurek suffered shrapnel injuries to her upper body and arm.

Kocurek said there were mistakes that were made prior to the attack on her life. When KXAN interviewed Kocurek after she returned to the bench in early 2016, she said the threat was “poorly investigated.”

“In my situation there was a threat and I wasn’t told and I should have been told. I have the right to decide if it’s credible,” she said. Travis County officials said they knew about the threat but did not inform Kocurek. Search warrants showed officials were warned two weeks prior to the shooting that someone was planning to kill an unnamed Travis County judge. Kocurek says while the threat did not mention her by name but the name of the suspect, Chimene Onyeri, was someone who had been in her courtroom several times before and says had she known about it she would have taken measures to protect herself and her family.

Commissioner Gerald Daugherty says the county has been in discussion with Kocurek and her family for quite some on a possible settlement, but Daugherty did not reveal the monetary amount the county is considering.

“I’m happy doing what we can do so Julie and her family can move on with their lives,” says Daughtery. But the commissioner said he also wanted to be mindful of the security she has received since the attack. “I want to be cautious with tax dollars and her safety.” Since the attack, the county has spent $533,000 to provide security for Kocurek.

The commissioners will discuss the item in executive session at their next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 31.The three men who authorities say plotted the attack on the judge will go to trial later this year. 

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