Private Reprimand of a Former Municipal Court Judge. (08/31/11)
The judge failed to comply with the law and failed to maintain professional competence in the law by permitting defendants to make charitable donations in lieu of performing community service when he knew, or should have known, the law does not permit such a substitution for class C misdemeanors. When asked by a defendant wishing to make a charitable donation in lieu of performing community service to which organization to give, the judge lent the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of those specific charitable entities he identified. The judge also failed to comply with the law and failed to maintain professional competence in the law when he followed a procedure that had the practical effect of placing a commercial driver's license holder on deferred disposition, when he knew that the law prohibited him from doing so. Finally, the judge failed to treat a member of his court staff in a patient, dignified and courteous manner by making jokes in court that he knew, or should have known, would cause the staff member public embarrassment and humiliation. [Violation of Canons 2A, 2B, 3B(2), and 3B(4) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Reprimand of a Former Municipal Court Judge. (08/31/11).