Thursday, July 19, 2007

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Attorney General Abbott Names Odessa Child Support Employee Assistant Attorney General of the Year

ODESSA – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today recognized Gayle Shackelford, Assistant Attorney General in the Child Support Division’s Odessa office, for her outstanding work on behalf of Texas children. Shackelford, a resident of Midland, was selected as “Assistant Attorney General of the Year” for a 21-county region based in El Paso. She was honored Wednesday at the Statewide Assistant Attorneys General Conference in San Antonio.

“Thanks to Gayle’s hard work and dedication, thousands of young Texans have the child support they need to grow healthy and strong,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Together with her colleagues, Gayle has improved the lives of young Texans and their families. We are grateful to Gayle for her commitment to Texas children and her service to the State of Texas.”

Attorney General Abbott recognized one assistant attorney general from each of the state’s eight child support regions and the main office in Austin. Recipients are selected based on recommendations from their peers and supervisors, with a particular focus on employees who are willing to go beyond what their normal duties require. Each recipient demonstrates a desire to help others and enhance the Attorney General’s Child Support Division.

Shackelford, who joined the Office of the Attorney General in 2004, is responsible for establishing legally recognized relationships between children and their unmarried parents. As an assistant attorney general, she also works to establish, enforce and modify court orders for child support and medical support. Shackelford, a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, was chosen to be the region’s “Assistant Attorney General of the Year” because of innovations in her approach to working cases. In 2006, Gayle led her office to exceed its goals for collecting child support and establishing new court orders requiring the payment of child support.

Shackelford’s colleagues praised her passion for providing young Texans the financial and medical support they need and deserve.

“Gayle is very dedicated and driven,” said Debra Morgan, senior regional attorney. “She seizes every opportunity to collect child support for the children of Texas.”

The Attorney General’s Child Support Division offers an array of services to help families, including locating absent parents; establishing paternity for children born to unmarried parents; establishing, enforcing, and modifying child and medical support orders; and collecting and distributing child support payments.

For more information about the Office of the Attorney General and the child support services it offers, call (800) 252-8014 or visit the agency’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.