State News : Texas

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Comings and Goings, Goings and Comings

There has been a flurry of activity within the Division of late as DWC staff flutter off. Ana Thornton, the South-Eastern Regional Director overseeing hearings in Houston, San Antonio, and the Valley, has departed for a position with Traveler’s Insurance Company.  Of course, we wish her nothing but the best. 

Jeff Carothers, formerly the Team Lead for the Southern Region and a San Antonio Administrative Law Judge, accepted the Regional Director position left vacant by Ms. Thornton and will therefore no longer preside over hearings.  Administrative Law Judge Hector Martinez of San Antonio will replace Mr. Carothers as the Team Lead of the Southern Region. We heartily congratulate them both!

Meanwhile, ALJ Franca Okonkwo transferred from the Houston West Field Office to Houston East, and the Division has hired Victoria Mendoza as its newest Administrative Law Judge in the West office.  Judge Mendoza received her J.D. from Texas Southern University and became licensed to practice in 2016. Prior to joining the Division, we understand her area of expertise was immigration law. We look forward to working with her.

Finally, Amparo Ilustre, a Benefit Review Officer in the Fort Worth area, retired in January. No word yet on her replacement, but our best wishes to Ms. Ilustre for a happy retirement!


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