The commission can issue public censure/reprimand after formal proceedings - a letter issued to the judge, the press, and available to the public stating that the commission believes that the judge has committed serious misconduct.
Recommendations of removal by the commission are issued to the Texas Supreme Court, which may then remove a judge from office and prevent that judge from ever holding office in the future. Removed judges are not entitled to retirement benefits.
A judge used abusive language in discussing with an employee of a state agency the actions and personality of a second employee of the same state agency who intended to file a complaint in the judge's court.
During the trial of a traffic case, a judge found a traffic defendant guilty based upon ex parte statements previously made to the judge by the peace officer who issued the traffic citation to the traffic defendant. Neither the peace officer nor any other witnesses testified in court at the time the traffic defendant was found guilty.
On behalf of an individual who had not filed a complaint in the judge's court, a judge sent a notice to another individual informing him that he owed $500 and that he had ten days in which to do something about the debt.
Without a case being filed in the judge's court, a judge sent a letter to a citizen ordering the citizen to stay away from the complainant and stating that if the citizen continued in the alleged harassment, the judge would be forced to schedule the matter for a court hearing, calling both sides in, and handing out possible fines and jail time.
A judge was present in a law enforcement patrol vehicle when a traffic defendant was stopped and issued a citation for speeding by the law enforcement officer. The judge later presided over the trial of this citation.
A judge corresponded with a business person in his area to document his dissatisfaction as a customer with the services provided by her business using "unofficial" judicial stationery that prominently displayed the state seal, his position and status as a district judge, and the address of the court.
A judge made an ex parte comment to an attorney indicating the way he would rule on a motion pending before the court, and that comment caused the attorney to advise his client that settlement in this case would be advantageous for him.
A judge interfered in the probation of a criminal defendant by contacting the judge in whose court the case was pending because of his desire to help with the rehabilitation of the criminal defendant, who was a close friend of the judge.
A judge failed to obtain judicial education required by the Texas Supreme Court and, thereafter, failed to respond to two letters of inquiry sent to him by the commission and failed to appear informally before the commission when requested to do so.
Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 2:59am