BELTON — Retired Bell County 264th District Court Judge Martha Trudo’s portrait is missing from those of the retired judges who line the hallways of the Bell County Justice Complex.
The lack of the portrait was recently questioned by Temple attorney Michael White, who was concerned by the omission.
Judge Gordon Adams of the 169th Judicial District Court responded Friday to the Telegram’s emailed request about Trudo’s missing portrait.
Bell County Judge David Blackburn said that it is up to the retired judges to provide their own portraits, which Adams confirmed.
“As Judge Blackburn previously said, the retiring district judges have historically provided their portrait to be mounted in the District Courthouse,” Adams said. “This office — as well as other district judges — have made numerous attempts to contact Judge Trudo regarding her portrait, both before her retirement and after her retirement.
“To date, we have not received a portrait to be mounted.”
Adams said the district judges believe it’s important to have Trudo’s portrait mounted in the courthouse, along with the other retired district judges.
When Trudo retired in 2018, she was honored just like past judges Joe Carroll and Rick Morris were, Bell County Bar Association Executive Director Cynthia Helmandollar said. Those two judges retired in 2013, got their portraits done and framed them for the hallway.
Afterward, the Bar Association reimbursed them for the framing cost, which was about $125, according to Helmandollar.
“The Bell County Bar Association did not pay for, coordinate or schedule the portraits,” she said. “Likewise, the Bell County Bar Association did not coordinate the placement of the portraits in the Justice Center.”
Trudo has not contacted the association to request reimbursement for framing a portrait. If it is framed, the association will reimburse her for that expense to show its appreciation for her years of service in the 264th District Court, Helmandollar said.
For at least 10 years, the Bar Association hosted a social event to honor and present retiring judges with a rocking chair “as a token of the members’ appreciation for their service,” she said.
“Specifically, the association hosted a public social with light refreshments at the Judicial Complex and she (Trudo) was presented with a rocking chair gift from the Bell County Bar Association,” Helmandollar said.