Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Strange electoral news from the judiciary

A couple of bizarre developments on the electoral front:

First, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Larry Meyers has changed parties and announced he's running for the Texas Supreme Court as a Democrat. His term on the CCA isn't up until 2016 so he doesn't have to resign to run. Noted Burnt Orange Report, "Judge Meyers, who has spent 21 years as a statewide elected Texas Republican, did not give a reason for why he was switching." Fascinating. Who knows what's behind it?

Meanwhile, Polk County District Judge Elizabeth Coker, who resigned last Friday as part of an agreement with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct after she was caught texting advice to prosecutors during trials from the bench, has signed up to run for Polk County District Attorney. Reported the Houston Chronicle:
Coker will be challenging the incumbent prosecutor, Lee Hon, who was among the witnesses who testified about Coker this year before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. ...
Local attorney Laura Prigmore is mulling over whether to ask the courts if a prosecutor can be considered a "judicial" position since it is listed under the judicial branch in the Texas Constitution.

The last time a state district judge voluntarily stepped aside to avoid possible disciplinary action was in 2009 when Central Texas Judge Emil Prohl was accused of spending forfeiture funds.
The scandal has all but engulfed the Polk County legal system:
Hon, who was exonerated by investigations into his office's dealings with Coker, said he intends to "regain the public's trust after this unfortunate turn of events" and that he is the only candidate with experience as a prosecutor. ...

Cecil Berg, an attorney who filed complaints against Coker and who is running to replace her as district judge, described Coker's campaign as "the most brazen thing I've ever seen."

"I'm dismayed by it," he said. "After all the improper communiqu├ęs she's had with assistant district attorneys while a judge, now she wants to run the department. It's beyond my comprehension."

Kaycee Jones, a former assistant Polk County prosecutor, is facing a hearing before a state bar grievance committee in March for her admission that she improperly used text messages from Coker during a 2012 trial.

Jones, who was later elected a district judge herself, acknowledged the secret texts exchanged to bolster the prosecution's case was "wrong."
You couldn't make this stuff up.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Political rejects from the reject pool. Much like most of the state of Texas.

Anonymous said...

So Hon testified against Your Honor and now it's pay back time? They're both republicans so now's maybe a good opportunity for a democrat..

Anonymous said...

She was always a Democrat while she was judge. She just recently switched to Republican.

http://www.easttexasnews.com/Trinity/News/Ind/Stories%202013/31.html

Gritsforbreakfast said...

@8:19, it was Judge Meyers from the Court of Criminal Appeals changing parties to run for the Texas Supreme Court. The first paragraph in the post is talking about a different race.

The Homeless Cowboy said...

You are absolutely correct Grits, there aint no way a fella could make up the junk that happens in Texas Politics. Just Uneffing believable.

Anonymous said...

258th District Court Judge Elizabeth Coker of Livingston has announced she is joining the Republican Party. Coker, a former resident of Trinity, is currently serving Trinity, Polk and San Jacinto counties on the district court bench. She was first elected to the office in 1998 as a Democratic Party candidate and has won re-election three times under that party's banner. On Tuesday, April 2, Coker announced at the Polk County Republican Club meeting she is joining the Republican Party. "I walked in here tonight with the same values, principles and faith that I shall leave with" Coker stated.

Anonymous said...

AGREE W/6:53

Anonymous said...

Look at what happened this week in a Lubbock JP race. Incumbent running. Her only competition is her daughter. Incumbent tries to withdraw on the last day to leave her daughter in position to take over her bench. Amazing.

Anonymous said...

"I walked in here tonight with the same values, principles and faith that I shall leave with" Coker stated. What do you want to bet this comment comes back to bite her right square on the ass! This woman has no values and principles! At least not any good ones! How does she still have a law license, Grits?

Anonymous said...

Lee Hon spent years trying to execute Johnny Paul Penry, and spent millions doing it. Penry and his attorneys beat him. Hon is a turd.

Anonymous said...

Coker beats Hon, which is likely.....then can DA Coker text Judge Jones during trial to sway Justice?? Judge Jones was ADA that received text from then Judge Coker.....Pinewoods Justice Clusterf....