Jennifer Tharp Biography

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jennifer-tharpJennifer Tharp is the Criminal District Attorney for Comal County, a fast growing community of over 160,000 people. During Jennifer’s three terms 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.

Jennifer is an active community leader constantly looking for opportunities to protect her community, as well as, victims of crimes throughout Texas. She serves as the Co-Chair for the Texas Council on Family Violence (T.C.F.V.) Public Policy Committee and worked this past legislative session furthering several of TCFV’s legislative agenda at the Capitol. During the 84th and 85th Legislative Sessions, Jennifer authored and/or supported through testimony several bills that ultimately were enacted into law to include: Invasive Visual Recording (“Upskirting”), Unlawful Disclosure or Promotion of Intimate Visual Material (“Revenge Porn”), Article 38.371 Evidence in Prosecutions of Certain Offenses Involving Family Violence, Enhanced Victim Privacy and Confidentiality, Expanded Long Term Protective Orders, and Cyber-bullying (“David’s Law”). In 2012, Governor Perry appointed her to serve on a Parental Rights Committee formed to study the State’s 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 is respected amongst her peers and was named the 2016 Texas Gang Investigators Association Prosecutor of the Year. This honor came from nominations of her by members of the local gang unit (“G.O.N.E.”). In 2015, she was named the State Bar of Texas and Texas District and County Attorneys Association (T.D.C.A.A.) Prosecutor of the Year. She is active in many civic organizations and currently serves as board member for Comal Cops for Kids Foundation, New Braunfels Christian Ministries, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Comal County (C.A.C.C.C.), and the Texas District and County Attorneys Association Board President-Elect. She is also active in the Texas Council on Family Violence Core Leadership Prosecutors Group, the State Bar of Texas Criminal Law Section Committee, Comal County University, Leadership New Braunfels, C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Blue Santa, Green Santa, Wurstfest, Braunfels Foundation, New Braunfels Republican Women, Bulverde Area Republican Women, Canyon Lake Republican Women, and the Republican Club of Comal County.

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 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, online safety, 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 and protect 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. Jennifer Tharp District Attorney
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 14-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.

Jennifer has been married to her husband Dan Tharp for fifteen years and they have two sons. Dan is the Director of Enterprise Media & Strategy for U.S.A.A. The Tharps are members of Oakwood Baptist Church of New Braunfels.