Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan announced today that he has appointed Laura Fiorentino Cahill to serve as an Assistant County Attorney under the County Attorney Community Protection Program.

The pilot program will target areas within the Spring Branch Management District, Greater Sharpstown Management District, and the Brays Oaks Management District for increased civil enforcement in community protection matters. The attorney will focus on issues such as deed restriction enforcement, stopping illegal dumping, or closing businesses that allow criminal acts to occur on their premises.
Harris County and the Management Districts recently entered into a first-of-its kind agreement to permit the Districts to provide funding for additional staffing for the Office of the County Attorney so that the Office can devote more resources to these quality of life issues.

Management Districts exist to enhance the physical, social, and economic well being of the communities in which they are located. Districts work with local businesses and others on such matters as mobility and transportation planning, environmental and urban design, health and public safety initiatives, and business and economic development.

Laura Cahill, a 1992 graduate of South Texas College of Law, has over 14 years experience as a trial lawyer with the Office of the County Attorney. She previously worked on environmental matters including enforcement actions against automobile salvage yards that were operating in residential neighborhoods.

Cahill will be assisted by the County Attorney’s Special Prosecutions Unit, created by Vince Ryan in 2009 to focus on closing places that are hotbeds of criminal activity and to shut down enterprises that knowingly house criminal elements. She will work with David Hawes, executive director of the Management Districts, to coordinate and pinpoint those areas that need attention.

“Reducing these businesses that attract criminal activity and community protection are priorities for my office,” County Attorney Ryan said. “This program is an innovative way for our Office to work with local agencies to fulfill our commitment to help improve neighborhoods.”