judges are worried about losing their immunity from lawsuits if they get involved in the day-to-day matters of the probation department — and they've been told by the AG's office that what constitutes "involved" is very hard to define. Another issue is that the group that oversees Fitzgerald is made up of 21 judges from two different judicial levels, and even getting a quorum, much less agreement on a sticky subject, can be quite a headache.If that's accurate, it means that Fitzgerald is basically a rogue acting with no oversight at all. Bexar judges should be less worried about their immunity and more worried about their responsibility to oversee the probation department and ensure it isn't entirely dysfunctional. Voters don't necessarily understand that judges are supposed to control this mess, but probation officers in Dallas helped unseat judges in the last election cycle who weren't responsive to needs of POs (and for that matter probationers themselves).
I also wonder what Greg Abbott, the Texas Attorney General, thinks about his minions trying to out anonymous blog commenters, not because they libeled anyone but simply to expose them to possible retaliation? Why would Abbott allow his attorneys to bully Bexar probation officers this way?
And would Google have just turned the information over if plaintiffs' attorneys hadn't filed a motion to quash? I've wondered about this in the context of Texas Youth Commission commenters on Grits, and this makes me more curious than ever what information Google/Blogger keeps on IP addresses of anonymous blog commenters and under what circumstances they release the information?
If this kind of bullying is tolerated, I wonder what other shennanigans Bexar judges are letting Bill Fitzgerald get away with at the Bexar County probation department because they're afraid to get involved? I may have to mosey down to San Antonio soon to look at the entire court file on this case. No wonder his employees are angry at him.
UPDATE: Thanks to Texas Justice Dot Org, here are all the pleadings in the lawsuit (pdf) between Bexar probation officers and probation chief Bill Fitzgerald, for those interested in more detail.