"I'm pleased to honor Jim's work as a CLEAT employee," stated Executive Director Charley Wilkison, "the job of a staff attorney has so many moving parts and is so essential to our mission and our overall success at CLEAT."
"Jim, like all our employees, represents loyal service to our members, due diligence in preparedness and skill on the job. This is a well deserved honor and I'm deeply gratified that his beautiful family was able to be a part of the recognition," said Wilkison.
The Chris McGill Award is presented annually to the CLEAT Employee of the Year. The honoree is chosen by the Executive Director, Charley Wilkison.
Jopling was chosen for the distinction after winning a landmark court case last year that dealt a major blow against the privatization of county jails in Texas.
Jopling and CLEAT have been in a political and legal shooting war for years with El Paso County Sheriff Richard D. Wiles. The Sheriff has made numerous attempts at eroding the rights of his deputies and detention officers. He was also famously defeated in an 2015 attempt at obtaining a variance from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards to decrease the jailer per inmate ratio thus putting employees lives at risk.
Wilkison created the award in 2014 and named it in honor of the late Chris McGill, who served as former Executive Board Member, former Vice President, former CLEAT President as well as a Field Representative.