Judge Hal Richards was sworn in as Kaufman County Judge on January 1, 2019.
Hal's foundation for financial and operational decision-making is in his experience as a businessman and entrepreneur. In 1981, he moved his family to Kaufman County to start his first enterprise, a Ford-New Holland tractor and equipment dealership. In 1983 he became involved in a manufacturing business that is now owned and operated by his son. He brings 38 years of business experience to his position as County Judge.
Judge Richards added public service experience, serving 3 terms as Mayor of the City of Terrell from 2007 to 2016.
His term as County Judge has included three annual budgets, in which the Kaufman County property tax rate has been reduced by a total of over 14%, a trend he is committed to continuing.
Richards has a Bachelor's degree and an MBA, both from Texas A&M.
Judge Richards is passionate about servant leadership. He is a past President of the Rotary Club, member of the Lions Club, former Boy Scout leader, former Chairman of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Kaufman County Leadership Council, and has held leadership positions in his Church. He currently serves as a Board Member of the Terrell ISD Excellence Foundation.
He and his wife, Christi, have been married for 45 years and raised 3 sons. They are the very proud Grandparents of Claire and her little sister, Isabelle.
Hal has always had an enthusiastic interest in aviation. He is a licensed, instrument-rated, private pilot.
The Texas Constitution vests broad judicial and administrative powers to the position of county judge, who presides over a five-member commissioners court, which has budgetary and administrative authority over county government operations.
Judge Richards conducts the County Commissioners' Court meetings and is responsible for coordinating and posting the agenda each week. Judge Richards serves as the head of civil defense and disaster relief, and county welfare and prepares the county budget along with the County Auditor and County Administrator. Judge Richards is responsible for calling elections, posting election notices and for receiving and canvassing the election returns. Judge Richards is empowered to perform marriages and may have judicial responsibility for certain criminal, civil and probate matters. Judge Richards handles such widely varying matters as hearings for beer and wine license applications, hearings on admittance to state hospitals for the intellectually and developmentally disabled, juvenile work permits, and temporary guardianships for special purposes.