Jennifer Tharp Biography

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Jul 6, 2011

Jennifer Tharp is the Criminal District Attorney for Comal County, a growing community of over 108,000 people. During Jennifer’s first term as Criminal District Attorney, she has demonstrated the leadership, compassion and integrity required to handle the growing justice needs of the community. Jennifer and her staff have partnered with law enforcement, schools, and non-profit organizations to create a safe community, giving great focus to protecting children and keeping roads safe.

Jennifer represents Comal County, the Commissioners Court, the County Judge and all Comal County officials in legal aspects of economic development, employment, contracts, real estate, tax and environmental protection. She has testified before the Texas State Legislature on behalf of the citizens of Comal County to ensure that their families and property are protected.

Jennifer’s work to serve and protect children has been recognized by community organizations such as CASA, Options for Women, Crisis Center of Comal County. In 2012 Jennifer was awarded the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce’s Chair of the Board Award in the field of youth protection and the Community Builder Award from the New Braunfels Mason Lodge No. 1109.

Jennifer has worked at the state level, testifying before House and Senate Committees to help protect the rights of children. In 2012, Governor Perry appointed her to serve on a Parental Rights Committee formed to study the States’ child custody laws and make recommendations to the Texas Legislature for improvements to the law. During her service on the committee, Jennifer assisted with the authorship of House Bill 1206 that was passed and signed into law by Governor Perry.

Jennifer has prioritized the prosecution of child abusers, pursuing tough sentences to ensure convicted abusers do not have the opportunity to harm additional children. Jennifer’s office has defended its criminal convictions through the appeals process, successfully preventing the parole release of convicted child molesters. Jennifer has also pursued innovative ways to reduce stress for victims, such as using a therapy dog to provide comfort to child victims during their time at the courthouse.

Jennifer and members of her office speak to hundreds of school children each year about the dangers of drinking and driving, drug use, criminal activity, as well as texting and driving. Jennifer hopes to empower children to make good decisions. Jennifer is a co-founder and board member of Comal Cops for Kids Foundation, a charitable organization that raises and distributes thousands of dollars each year to benefit children.

Jennifer’s efforts to reduce DWI injuries and fatalities have been reported on statewide. In May 2011, Jennifer helped lead the way to Comal County becoming a “No-Refusal” county, during times when roadways had historically proven to be the most dangerous due to DWI related offenses. The program was a success and law enforcement noticed a reduction in the number of DWI arrests. Based on these positive results, Jennifer’s office coordinated with judges and law enforcement to make Comal County a year-round and permanent “No-Refusal” county since September 2011. Other counties have since adopted this model, helping to improve road safety statewide.

True to the commitment she made when running for office in 2010, Jennifer has provided the leadership necessary to run an efficient Criminal District Attorney’s Office. She has been tough on criminals, keeping the safety of children and her community as top priorities.

Jennifer’s 10-year career in public service began as a General Litigator with Attorney General Greg Abbott where she defended the State of Texas. Jennifer joined the Comal Criminal District Attorney’s Office in 2004 and held several positions, including Chief Civil Prosecutor, before being elected Criminal District Attorney. Jennifer is the first female District Attorney in Comal County’s history as well as its youngest.

Jennifer was raised in New Braunfels, graduated cum laude from Texas Lutheran University, and earned a her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. In October 2012, Jennifer was named as the 2012 Distinguished Young Alumni by St. Mary’s University School of Law.

In addition to her work as a public servant, Jennifer is an active board member for the Comal Cops for Kids Foundation, Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County, the Comal County Sexual Assault Response Team (S.A.R.T.), and the New Braunfels Christian Ministries Foundation. She is active with the New Braunfels Republican Women, the Comal County Citizens Sheriff’s Academy, Leadership New Braunfels, Court Appointed Special Advocates (C.A.S.A.), the Braunfels Foundation and is a member of Oakwood Baptist Church of New Braunfels.

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