Policy: Law

West Texas county judge restricts interviews

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News,Business,Judicial Branch,First Amendment,Law,State Courts,Press Freedom

SNYDER, Texas (AP) — A West Texas county judge is restricting his availability for interviews as tensions escalated between him and the local daily newspaper.

The Snyder Daily News (http://bit.ly/1huASXE) reports Scurry County Judge Ricky Fritz is refusing to answer questions about whether he'd give an update to a county development board. The daily reports its courthouse reporter has been allowed three time windows in the late morning and mid-afternoon and is required to bring a resume with him.

Donnis Baggett, executive vice president of the Texas Press Association, called the resume requirement unheard of.

Fritz's home number is unpublished and he couldn't be reached Wednesday evening.

The conflict comes after Daily News publisher Bill Crist, in a March 8 column, criticized county plans to provide a loan or grant to an apartment developer.

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