TERRELL, TEXAS — A former Kaufman County Republican Chair and Terrell resident passed away yesterday at a Dallas hospital from COVID-19 complications.
Bill Baker, 75 of Terrell, was admitted to Baylor University Medical Center on June 11 after testing positive with COVID-19, according to his family.
The Terrell sub-courthouse was closed by the following day, June 12, as Mr. Baker’s wife is employed for the county at the Terrell tax office.
Baker a long time Republican party activist has previously served as county chairman and was recently defeated for precinct chair in the March primary.
Baker began showing symptoms after he attended the Republican party county convention held on June 6 at Trinity Family Church in Talty, according to party officials. Allen West, candidate for the state Republican Chair was the keynote speaker for the event. West and his campaign declined inForney.com’s invitation for comment on the matter.
After several days in the ICU, Baker apparently went into cardiac arrest while being transferred to a ventilator, according to a Kaufman County Republican Party Facebook post.
County Judge Hal Richard’s announced late Thursday evening that the county courthouse in Kaufman would be closed today for “deep cleaning and sanitizing.”
Late Friday morning, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 Mary Bardin made the decision to close the South Campus in Kaufman after learning that a courthouse employee who has tested positive for COVID-19 has exposed other employees who have been working in the building.
“The Pct. 1 Justice Court has remained closed to the public, however, after learning about the possible exposure to my court staff and officers, I have closed my court effective immediately and sent everyone home for the day while we await test results,” Judge Bardin tells inForney.com.
The Kaufman County courthouse annex remains open on Friday, however a new policy requiring all annex employees to wear masks was put into place this morning, inForney.com has confirmed.