The Dallas Morning News reports that Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, who recently whined about not getting Chip Babcock appointed to represent her in the Commission for Judicial Conduct’s suit against her, “failed to abide by legal requirements that she disclose nearly $2 million in real estate holdings” in a sworn statement to the Texas Ethics Commission last April.
The sworn statement Keller was required to file with the Texas Ethics Commission last April reflected income of more than $275,000, including her annual state salary of $152,500. It also showed that she owned at least 100 shares of airline stock, a home in Austin and one commercial property in Dallas. County tax records valued the properties at about $1 million.
Keller’s statement did not list her ownership interest in seven other residential and commercial properties in Dallas and Tarrant counties. Those properties are valued collectively by county appraisal districts at about $1.9 million.
When Texas politicians fall, they fall hard. Someone should have told her that falsifying government documents could be a felony.
Sharon Keller’s lawyer, Chip Babcock, had predicted that his anticipated six-figure bill would be ruinous to Judge Keller based “on the resources Keller listed on her latest personal financial report to the state”. He “was not aware of the extent of her holdings until told about them by The News.”
His new position, in light of the assets she was hiding not only from the Texas Ethics Commission but also from him?
Babcock then acknowledged that Keller might be able to sell enough property to pay her legal bills. But he said the amount of Keller’s assets should not alter their legal position that she should be allowed to benefit from reduced attorney’s fees or be provided his legal services at state expense.
“The argument ought to be the same whether you came to the bench after having amassed substantial assets or you inherited it, or you don’t have any assets,” he said.
Yep. Whether you’re a millionaire trust-fund baby or not, if you get elected judge, you’re entitled.