Special to the Register
Officials at the Cooke County attorney’s office, located in Gainesville, announced Monday that former Denton County Sheriff Benny Parkey is joining the county attorney’s office as investigator.
Parker will be the first investigator on staff in 12 years and will be responsible for investigating cases brought to the office for prosecution.
“I am excited to be able to add value to the county attorney’s office, and I am ready to meet the goals given to me by County Attorney Ed Zielinski,” Parkey said. “I am ready to bring my previous experience as a sheriff and investigator and my networking skills to make the county attorney’s office more effective in prosecuting cases in Cooke County.”
County Attorney Ed Zielinski said he is excited about this addition to his staff, because it will give one more set of credible eyes to investigate cases filed with his office. The purpose of an investigator is to make the prosecution of criminals efficient and effective.
Parkey was the Denton County sheriff from 2005 to 2012. He was responsible for a 1,400-bed jail; more than 500 employees, including patrol officers; a criminal investigative department; and a crime laboratory. Prior to serving as sheriff, he was a police officer and a criminal investigator for 14 years.
About the Cooke County Attorney’s Office
The Cooke County attorney’s office is responsible for prosecuting adults charged with misdemeanor criminal offenses such as family violence, assault, driving while intoxicated and theft; and prosecuting juveniles charged with misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses. It also represents people who apply through Cooke County Mental Health and Mental Retardation (MHMR) for mental health treatment at a hospital, and advises the commissioners court and other elected official and department heads on legal matters. The county attorney’s office also handles prosecution of “hot checks” for any merchants or individuals who receive worthless checks in Cooke County.
Prosecuting adult misdemeanor criminal cases involves representing the State of Texas in the county court-at-law at arraignment hearings, pre-trial hearings, non-jury trials, jury trials and hearings to revoke community supervision. Prosecuting juvenile cases involves representing the State of Texas in the county courts at law under Judge John Morris at detention hearings, adjudication hearings, disposition hearings and motions to modify. When adults or juveniles appeal their convictions, the county attorney’s office continues to represent the State of Texas in the appeals, which may involve appearing before the 2nd Court of Appeals in Fort Worth or the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin.
About County Attorney Ed Zielinski and Assistant County Attorney Keith “K.O.” Orsburn
Zielinski was elected county attorney in 2012 and took office in January. Zielinski is licensed to practice law in two states, was a captain in the U.S. Army, was the assistant district attorney in Cooke County and also was a justice of the peace. The first assistant prosecutor is Keith “K.O.” Orsburn, who is returning to his hometown after being in private practice in Denton County for more than 28 years.