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Fort Bend County, At Large
By Cheryl Skinner

This column expresses the personal opinions/views of the writer. If you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column, write a SIGNED letter to the editor. Name can be withheld by request with a valid day time phone number.


Is there a doctor in the house?

Everyone has heard the term “Is there a doctor in the house?” Well, if you ask around the county courthouse, they may just direct you to the office of County Judge Bob Hebert.

In case you didn’t know, a big hoopla was made about Hebert proudly displaying his doctorate degree on his office wall and his website.

Seems local TV eagles, or vultures, depending on which side of the fence you sit on, did an expose on diploma mills and a new law in Texas that makes it a crime to use a degree for furthering for getting employment in Texas.

While Hebert felt he had earned his doctorate degree, which incidentally took him five years to attain, he removed his diploma from his wall and his website.

Hebert also noted, at the time of the controversy, that he was already in office when he chose to work toward his doctorate; that it didn’t help him get, keep, or advance in any way as your elected public official and that he sought the degree for personal satisfaction and was quite proud of earning it.

So, needless to say, this week when a higher court ruled on a lawsuit filed by the university students who had also earned degrees from this learning institution, saying the State of Texas was wrong in including the designation for a federally accredited institution of higher learning, Hebert was thrilled.

The main point, he noted, was not so much his public embarrassment over the issue, but that across this great nation thousands of service men and women, both active, retired or veterans, use such colleges to obtain degrees or advance degrees.

Hebert wanted them to receive the educational opportunities and use their educations to their advantage.

Way to go judge—err—Doctor Robert Hebert.

I’ve never known Judge Hebert to back down from a fight when he is sure he is right.

He has once again lived up to his reputation, stubborn and educated. Good for him.

Thank you to our readers

It never ceases to amaze me when we get tons of feedback from a particular story. While it really isn’t unusual, it brings home just how many people read the paper and how many lives we touch as journalists.

I am so proud that the story last week on Sue Smith’s cry for help in contacting the Texas Parole Board to keep the accomplice who assisted the shooter who cold-bloodily killed her daughter, behind bars.

The day the story was published, I started getting e-mails from readers and calls from other media outlets. The readers were letting us know they were indeed sending letters to the parole board and the media was trying to get in touch with Sue so they could garner more publicity for her cause.

Sue called and said the response has been overwhelming and she is so appreciative to everyone who has been writing and calling.

It is always nice to feel that this newspaper touches lives and hearts every week.

Thanks to all who felt this was something important enough to take time away from this hectic season and help one of our citizens.

May you all have a wonderful Christmas knowing that you helped a family and a community.


Contact skinnerc1@tconline.net, if you would like to express your opinions/views regarding the column. Write a SIGNED letter to the editor with valid day time phone number--name can be withheld by request.

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   Last Update:  February 05, 2009