When you choose someone for a position of authority, it’s important to consider how much experience he/she has in the particular field of endeavor. The well-rounded person is more likely to be knowledgeable and capable when performing the duties of a job that requires a background in the given field.
Victor Rivera became a Fort Worth police officer in 1999 and patrolled the streets for a year before being promoted to a special unit known as the Crime Response Team. The job of the CRT was to saturate the high crime areas of the city, identify criminal suspects and collect evidence in order to make arrests and obtain convictions.
During this time, Officer Rivera worked undercover to infiltrate gangs that were involved in everything from homicide to burglary and sexual assault. In addition, he worked with the DEA and the FBI, handling search warrants that resulted in major drug busts. After a few years, Rivera was assigned as a Field Training Officer working with the Intelligence Division. His former experience with Military Intelligence in the US Army became a valuable asset in his police work.
All of the above helped him to learn about the law from the ground up. Therefore, while working full-time as a police officer, Rivera attained his Bachelor of Arts and Applied Sciences degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science from Midwestern State University. Shortly after graduation, he left the police department to attend Texas Tech University, where he simultaneously attained a Doctorate of Jurisprudence degree and a Master of Business Administration degree in 2007. In his third year of law school, he was selected as one of only eight students licensed to practice early and he was responsible for defending indigent individuals charged with crimes. In 2006, while in law school, he met and married his wife Clair. After Mr. and Mrs. Rivera earned their respective law degrees, Victor says they were led by God to begin a practice in Amarillo.
Told by doctors that they were unable to have their own biological children, they decided to adopt. However, as fate would have it, soon after preparation for adoption was made, Mrs. Rivera discovered she was pregnant. In 2008, they became the proud parents of a boy and a girl, whom they affectionately refer to as the “Wonder twins” because they were born four months apart. That same year, the Rivera family returned to the DFW area, where Victor began practicing Family Law and serving Denton County as a court-appointed Criminal Defense attorney. In that role, he used his foreign language skills (in addition to English and Spanish, he also speaks Korean, a language he learned in the Army) to serve those in need of a Spanish-speaking attorney, since few exist in the county.
Currently living in Flower Mound, Rivera was appointed in 2010 to the position of Municipal Judge for the Town. He presides over Class C misdemeanor crimes, property disputes, juvenile cases and other local issues.
Judge Rivera is running for Criminal Court Judge #5 in the March 4, 2014 primary. Among his other credits, he is board certified in Family Law. Moreover, he and his wife Clair own the Rivera Legal Group, PLLC in Flower Mound. Judge Rivera is also one of the Directors of the Denton County Bar Association and is the former two-year President of the Denton County Family Law Section.
During a recent visit to my home, Judge Rivera stressed the importance of his role as a Christ-follower and his regular attendance at Valley Creek Church service in Flower Mound. As a devout Christian, he believes he was called to service as a judge because of his unique ability to deal with people in a variety of situations.
“As a police officer I have seen things from every level of human interaction. I know the mechanics of what transpires during the commission of crimes. My experience gives me the edge to know what’s required for judging those who violate the law. If you were afforded some leniency the first time, but did not learn a lesson from the experience, it’s evident that you are not taking the grace and mercy I provided you with,” he said. “Anyone can make a mistake,” he added, “but, if the public is to be protected, those who continue to commit crimes must be dealt with in the severest of terms.”
As a Judge of the Criminal Court, Rivera would be handling A and B misdemeanor crimes, in addition to other less-than-felony offenses. During his time as a Municipal Court Judge, he hasn’t had any appeals or complaints about his service. Perhaps that’s because he knows the law from all sides of the justice system.
Bob Weir is a long-time Flower Mound resident and former local newspaper editor. In addition, Bob has 7 published books that include “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death” and “Out of Sight,” all of which can be found on Amazon.com and other major online bookstores.