Terry Keel: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel

Texas State Representative, District 47
In office
January 14, 1997 – January 9, 2007
Preceded by Susan Combs
Succeeded by Valinda Bolton

Travis County, Texas, Sheriff
In office
November 17, 1992 – January 1, 1997
Preceded by Dan T. Richards
Succeeded by Margo L. Frasier

Born January 13, 1958 (1958-01-13) (age 52)
Austin, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jeanne Marie Compeau Keel
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin, University of Houston
Religion Roman Catholic

Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel (born January 13, 1958), is a founding partner of the Keel & Nassour law firm in Austin, and he served as the Parliamentarian of the Texas House of Representatives from May 25, 2007 until January 13, 2009[1]. He was appointed by Speaker Tom Craddick of Midland.[2] Keel himself was a Republican member from House District 47 (Austin) from January 14, 1997, until January 9, 2007. Prior to his House service, he was the sheriff of Travis County, having served from November 17, 1992, to January 1, 1997.[3] Keel currently serves as the Executive Director of the Texas Facilities Commission, a position to which he was appointed effective December 31, 2009.[4]


Early years and education

Keel is a fifth-generation "Austinite", having been reared in a family of six sons and one daughter. He is the son of Thomas M. Keel, the former long-time Texas Legislative Budget Board Director and former lecturer in public affairs for the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs.[5] He was the senior class president at LBJ High School in Austin, where he received his High School diploma on May 26, 1976.[6] In 1980, he procured a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an Associate of Arts in Foreign Language from Austin Community College.

He obtained his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Houston on May 14, 1983.[7] He was admitted to the Texas Bar on June 24, 1983, and licensed to practice law by the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court. He was further licensed in the federal district courts for the Western and Southern districts of Texas and the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals based in New Orleans.[8]

Keel also holds a Master Peace Officer License and is certified as an instructor of peace officers by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.[9]

He is married to the former Jeanne Marie Compeau (born November 14, 1959), formerly of Flemington, New Jersey. The couple has twin sons, Travis Bryan Keel and Sean Thornton Keel (born ca. 1987).

Five legislative elections

In 1996 incumbent State Representative Susan Combs, now the state comptroller did not seek reelection. Keel instead was nominated in the Republican runoff primary over his principal challenger, Kirk Ingels, 7,484 (62.4%) to 4,509 (37.6%).[10] He was victorious in the general election, having polled 51,953 votes (69%) to the Democrat John Lindell's 22,106 ballots (29.3%).[11]

After having been unopposed for a second term in 1998, Keel won an easy victory in 2000. He polled 74,958 votes (83.12%) to the Libertarian Party's Michael Badnaik, who received 15,221 votes (16.87%).[12] No Democrat ran in District 47 that year.

In 2002, Keel won his fourth term in the House over the Democrat Bill Martin and the Green Party's Sarah DuBose. Keel obtained 30,001 votes (63.12%) to Martin's 15,524 (32.7%) and DuBose's 1,963 (4.1%).[13]

He was unopposed for his fifth and final House term in 2004.[14] In his last two terms in the House, Keel was chairman of the influential House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.

In 1999, Keel was named an honorary member of the Austin Police Association in recognition for his work as a legislator and his prior service as sheriff and an assistant district attorney.[15]

Like his predecessor Combs, Keel was considered something of a moderate Republican by Texas standards. "'Over the years, he's clearly emerged as a member who's trusted on both sides of the aisle", said Rep. Ellitott Naishtat, an Austin Democrat and senior member of the Travis County Delegation."[16]Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, for instance, rated him a meager 54% favorable rating in 2005. The Young Conservatives of Texas, however, in that same year scored Keel at 70%. Earlier, in his career he had been more conservative in his voting record. The Christian Coalition , founded by the Reverend Pat Robertson of Virginia, scored him 92% in 1999.

Defeat for judge, 2006

In the spring of 2006, Keel ran unsuccessfully in the statewide Republican primary for Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8. In Texas as well as Oklahoma, the state's highest criminal and civil appeals courts are entirely separate bodies. He went into a runoff with the incumbent Charles Holcomb, who prevailed with 89,376 votes (53.62%) to Keel's 77,291(46.37%).[17] As customary in modern Texas, this was an extremely low-turnout party runoff.

Keel tried to have the signature petitions of both Judge Holcomb and Dallas District Judge Robert Francis invalidated because of errors.[18] Had he succeeded, Keel would have been the only Republican candidate for the Place 8 judgeship and a prohibitive favorite in the general election. Instead the Texas Supreme Court allowed Holcomb and Francis, the third-place finisher in the primary, more time to correct the errors in their petitions.[19]

Keel's former House seat went Democratic in 2006, with the victory of Valinda Bolton over Republican Bill Welch, 50.24 to 45.53%, respectively.

Keel as House parliamentarian

Craddick chose Keel as an Interim Parliamentarian on May 25, 2007, when Denise Davis and her deputy, Chris Griesel, resigned because Craddick deflected questions from insurgent House members who sought to remove him as Speaker.[20] Craddick refused to allow House members to make a motion to "vacate the chair" on the theory that he has the power to quash such a request. He also declined to allow an appeal of his decision.

Craddick said that he chose Keel because of the former lawmaker's decade of legislative experience, his legal expertise, and his knowledge of House rules.[21] The parliamentarian is charged with guiding the Speaker through the daily activities during House floor sessions. He also advises him on House rules and key provisions in the existing Texas Constitution of 1876.

Sheriff Keel

In his four-year term as Travis County sheriff, Keel supervised a staff of some 1,200 corrections and law enforcement personnel. He managed inmate populations exceeding 2,500 during a time of severe jail overcrowding.[22] He authorized a program to house jail prisoners in tents.[23] He ordered the construction of corrections facilities using inmate labor, and he expanded agriculture, labor, and education programs.[24] He established a professional victim services program.[25] He also launched joint law-enforcement operations between the Travis County Sheriff's Department and Austin Municipal Police.[26]

Keel was the first and thus far only Republican to have been elected sheriff of traditionally Democratic Travis County.[27] He was succeeded by the Democrat Margo L. Frasier, the first woman and the first lesbian to have yet served as sheriff in the history of Travis County.

Assistant district attorney

Prior to his tenure as sheriff, Keel was lead prosecutor in more than fifty contested felony jury trials in his role as a Travis County assistant district attorney from July 23, 1984 to November 1992 and was considered one of the office's most tenacious prosecutors.[28] He was chief prosecutor over these areas: Major Crimes, Narcotics, Organized Crime, District Court, Child Abuse, and Juvenile Prosecution.[29] From 1987 to 1991, he was assigned to the Austin Police Department Repeat Offender Program. This program, which targets career criminals for apprehension and prosecution, was one of the first such efforts in the United States.[30] He was the lead prosecutor in numerous cases of capital murder, homicide, sexual assault, and attempted capital murder.[31]

Keel received three certificates of appreciation from the Austin police chief (1986, 1991, and 1992) and further citations from the Austin Police Association [32] for the prosecution of career criminals for homicide and capital murder.[33]

From 1983 to 1984, Keel was an assistant to the district attorney of Brazos County (Bryan-College Station).[34] From 1999-2000, he was a special prosecutor for the district attorney of Hays County near Austin.[35]

Legal articles

Keel has written articles in the Texas Bar Journal about the legal codes, including (1) Criminal Law Changes to the Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure" (September 2003), "Changes to the Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure by the 77th Legislature" (September 2001), and "Criminal Law Update--76th Legislative Session" (September 1999).

Preceded by
Susan Combs (R)
Texas State Representative from District 47 (Travis County)

Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel (R)

Succeeded by
Valinda Bolton (D)
Preceded by
Dan T. Richards (D)
Sheriff of Travis County (Austin), Texas

Terrence McCauley "Terry" Keel (R)

Succeeded by
Margo L. Frasier (D)



"Craddick names new House chief (parliamentarian)", Laredo Morning Times, June 30, 2007, p. 8A







texaslegislature.beloblog.com/archives/2007/06/terry_keel_in_the_hizzy.html - 19k










  1. ^ Copelin, Laylan (June 10, 2007). "Accident of history will echo in House". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.
  2. ^ http://www.house.state.tx.us
  3. ^ Humphrey, Katie (June 25, 2005). "Keel aspires to be judge on top court". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  4. ^ http://www.tfc.state.tx.us/
  5. ^ Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Office of Publications (1997-1998 Edition) - "Faculty" p. 47.
  6. ^ McDaniels, Candace - Editor (May 20, 1976). "Senior Spirit of '76 Comes to Close". The Liberator - Lyndon Baines Johnson High School. p. 7
  7. ^ Koen, Karleen (Fall 2002). "Cougars in the Capitol". Collegium - The Magazine of the University of Houston. p. 18.
  8. ^ State Bar of Texas | Home
  9. ^ http://www.tcleose.state.tx.us. Licensing and Certification.
  10. ^ Gamboa, Suzanne (April 11, 1996). "Ingels pulls out of race for Combs' unfinished term". Austin American-Statesman. p. B2.
  11. ^ Mediarep.Htm
  12. ^ http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20001107/TravisFinalMedia11-14-00.PDF
  13. ^ http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20021105/11052002FinalCumulative.pdf
  14. ^ http://www.co.travis.tx.us/county_clerk/election/20041102/enight_results.pdf
  15. ^ "The Police Line - the Official Publication of the Austin Police Association", 1999
  16. ^ Harmon, Dave (March 2, 2003). "Moving Into the Majority". Austin American-Statesman. p. H5.
  17. ^ http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist.exe
  18. ^ Lindell, Chuck (January 25, 2006). "Judges ask court to reinstate them on appellate ballot". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  19. ^ In Re Frances, 186 S.W.3d 534 (Tex. 2006).
  20. ^ Copelin, Laylan (May 26, 2007). "Mutiny in Texas House". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.
  21. ^ Selby, Gardner (June 30, 2007). "Keel to return to Capitol as House parliamentarian". Austin American-Statesman. p. E1.
  22. ^ Smith, Rhonda (October 25, 1993). "Courts, jails seek breathing room". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  23. ^ Biesada, Alexandra M. (August 7, 1993). "Jail inmates pitch tents". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  24. ^ (November 25, 1993). "Sheriff Keel has made strides against crime during first year" (November 25, 1993). Lake Travis View. p. 5.
  25. ^ Phillips, Jim (October 24, 1994). "For victims, violence unit aims to be a sanctuary". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.
  26. ^ Phillips, Jim and Lindell, Chuck (December 3, 1993). "Officers put dent in drug market - Largest drug sweep in Travis County nets 109 suspects". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.
  27. ^ Shaffer, Erica (November 4, 1992). "Keel defeats Suits in sheriff's race". The Daily Texan. p. 7.
  28. ^ Martin, Roland B. (September 6, 1992). "County sheriff race wide open". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  29. ^ Garcia, Kimberly (August 28, 1992). "Republicans nominate prosecutor for sheriff". Austin American-Statesman. p. B3.
  30. ^ Copelin, Laylan (October 20, 1989). "Prosecutors gain power in seizing of crime profits". Austin American-Statesman. p. B1.
  31. ^ Walters, Chris (October 23, 1992). "Travis County Sheriff's Contest - This Gun for Hire". The Austin Chronicle. p. 16.
  32. ^ "Inside Austin" (January 28, 1986). "Police honor prosecutors in David Ruiz conviction". Austin American-Statesman. p. B2.
  33. ^ "The Police Line - the Official Publication of the Austin Police Association", 1991, 1992.
  34. ^ Snell, Jann (July 7, 1984). "Keel Leaving Assistant DA Post for Position in Travis County". Bryan-College Station Eagle. p. 2A.
  35. ^ Haurwitz, Ralph K. M. (March 2, 2000). "Home Turned Into Biohazard". Austin American-Statesman. p. A1.


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address