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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 11:53 AM
Original message
Killer Keller slapped with $100,000 fine on disclosure complaint
Texans for Public Justice E-mail blast

Texas Regulators Slap Top Criminal Judge With Biggest Ethics Fine in State History
April 30, 2010

Judge Sharon Keller Fined $100,000 to Resolve
Disclosure Compaint Brought by TPJ

Austin, TX: Texas regulators assessed a $100,000 civil penalty against Texas Criminal Court Presiding Judge Sharon Keller on April 28 for failing to disclose nearly $3 million in real estate, as well as $183,000 in income from 17 different sources. The fine against Texas top criminal judge was the largest ever levied by the Texas Ethics Commission. Judges Kellers disclosure lapses occurred in legally required personal financial statements that she filed with the Ethics Commission in 2007 and 2008. State law requires public officials to make the disclosures as a disinfectant against potential conflicts of interest. Texans for Public Justice filed the Keller complaint with the Commission in March 2009.

Judge Keller deserved a substantial penalty for hiding substantial income and assets from the public, said Texans for Public Justice Director Craig McDonald. It sends the wrong signal when top state judges dont follow the law. I think this fine is the Ethics Commissions way of saying that public servants will be held to the highest standards. Nobody can put themselves above state ethics laws.

  • TPJ filed complaint March, 2009

  • TPJ Press Release on Complaint March, 2009

    A win for the good guys! Way to go TPJ!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    :woohoo: :applause: :bounce: :toast:
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    sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 12:00 PM
    Response to Original message
    1. Judge Keller fined $100,000 for reporting lapse
    Focal Point blog AAS 4/30/10
    Judge Keller fined $100,000 for reporting lapse

    Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the states highest criminal court, has been fined $100,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to fully report her income and property holdings on annual personal financial statements.

    It was the largest civil penalty imposed by the commission, according to Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel for the agency.

    The statements for 2006 and 2007 failed to list eight properties, valued at around $2.8 million; between 100 and 499 shares of stock; income from rents, interest and dividends totaling $183,000 over the two years; 20 certificates of deposit; and one money market fund, according to a commission order.

    Keller also failed to list her participation on five board or executive positions and almost $10,000 in honorariums, the commission said.

    Kellers failure to fully list her properties, largely in the Dallas area, were revealed in articles by the Dallas Morning News and prompted the left-of-center watchdog group Texans for Public Justice to file a complaint with the ethics commission in March 2009.

    Kudos to the Dallas Morning News too, who did the original investigative reporting. :applause: :thumbsup:

    And :thumbsdown: to the writers on this paper who had to describe a TPJ watchdog group as left-of-center. Who cares? Was that really important? Is ethics a partisan issue? Everyone should care about it, and I'm grateful that TPJ went after her, because the TEC is a basically worthless, toothless commission. And I'm stunned that they took any action at all.

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    onestepforward Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-30-10 10:44 PM
    Response to Reply #1
    2. Good job TPJ!
    Ethics should never be partisan, but as we all know, it is more so than not with wingnuts. Truth doesn't have much value with them either.
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