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woman indicted on felony drug charges whose case was in his court. The woman advised others that

District Court Judge gave her advice on how to handle her case and told her that he would not send her

back to prison if she requested that he sentence her. She also alleged that District Court Judge told her

he would help her get her children back. District Court Judge voluntarily recused from the case. He told

the Commission that he only advised the defendant to speak with her attorney and that he could not

discuss her case with her.

Allegation 10

: District Court Judge’s daughter’s dog was injured by a neighbor’s dog. He sent the

neighbor two letters on his judicial letterhead, one demanding reimbursement for vet bills and a later

one threatening legal action. District Court Judge told the Commission that his assistant wrote the letters

on his behalf.

Allegation 11

: District Court Judge’s court reporter accused a police officer’s children of harassing

some of her relatives. District Court Judge demanded a meeting with the police officer at the courthouse

and threatened the police officer that if he didn’t “take care of it,” he would contact the Juvenile Probation

Department about the harassment. He then admitted to the Commission that he did “likely” contact a

probation officer at the juvenile department about the harassment.

The Commission concluded that the evidence in regards to the above allegations demonstrated that

District Court Judge allowed his name and judicial title to promote private interests, that legitimate

concerns about his impartiality were raised in several of the complaints, that he failed to comply with

the Fair Defense Act and his county’s indigent defense plan, that he misused his position and prestige of

office, and finally, that his conduct was willful and/or persistent. They further held that his “initial lack of

candor” during the Commission’s investigation into the allegations was an aggravating factor.

Public Warning and Order of Additional Education:

After an in-chambers review of medical records in

a second degree felony assault case, District Court Judge erroneously came to the conclusion that the

victim in the case had lied to the court about being a virgin. District Court Judge erroneously read an

entry in the medical records to say that the victim had previously given birth. She then gave the defendant

deferred adjudication and five years community supervision. She also sentenced the defendant to 250

hours at the Rape Crisis Center, to which its Executive Director objected to publicly. District Court Judge

received widespread media attention for her decisions in the case. District Court Judge felt that the

media reports contained false information about the case and that the public should know the truth, so

she agreed to speak to a reporter. Although the exact statements are disputed by District Court Judge,

the reporter quoted her as stating “the victim was not the victim she claimed to be” and that the victim

was not a virgin. The headline of the article the following day was “Judge says sexually assaulted 14-year-

old ‘wasn’t the victim she claimed to be.’” During her testimony to the Commission, District Court Judge

stated that after further review of the medical records she was not sure if the victim had previously

been pregnant. There were additional news stories critical of the judge’s comments to the reporter. The

attorney for the victim’s mother stated that the article caused them to question whether they should have

come forward and re-victimized the victim. District Court Judge conceded that talking to the reporter

was in “poor judgment” and that she would not do it again, but that she acted in good faith and that the

information was public record.

The Commission found that District Court Judge’s actions were willful and in violation of Canon 3B(10)

and Article v, §1-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution. It noted that her actions undermined public confidence

in the judiciary and cast discredit upon the judiciary. “An independent judge accepts that she may face

criticism for her decisions, and does not succumb to the temptation to publicly defend an unpopular

decision to the press.” District Court Judge was also ordered to obtain four additional hours of education

in being patient, dignified, and courteous towards victims of sexual assault and in refraining from making

public comment about pending cases.

Public Warning and Order of Additional Education:

Justice of the Peace filed suit against her local party

Chair after the Chair removed JP’s name from the ballot for re-election. JP’s opponent had challenged