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Corrupt Texas Judges Going to Jail This Month: El Paso’s Jones and Brownsville’s Limas

It’s one thing when Texas judges make the national news like the Honorable Fred Biery did this week, as the Wall Street Journal discussed the way he writes opinions filled with footnotes referencing literary, cultural, and historical tidbits (“San Antonio Judge Not a Fan of Air Conditioning, Loves Footnotes.”)

It’s quite another when the reputation of the Texas judiciary is spotlighted this month with two former judges from two different parts of the state going off to jail for their bad acts.

1. State District Judge in the Rio Grande Valley Pleds Guilty to Taking Bribes

Earlier this month, Abel C. Limas made the news as the former Judge of the 404th District Court for the State of Texas who pled guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas to racketeering by soliciting, extorting and accepting bribes totaling $257,300 or more, in exchange for giving favorable rulings to those who forked off some cash.  Limas apparently threw up his hands and made a deal with the feds almost immediately after he was caught.

2.  El Paso County Judge Tried and Found Guilty of Taking Bribes

This week, over in another federal courtroom, former Texas County Judge Luther Jones was found guilty after a full jury trial to verdict of two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and deprivation of honest services. Jones, unlike Limas, fought hard against the charges levied against him and it’s likely that he’ll be appealing this verdict.

Routine Coverage of Texas Judges Gone Bad Harms the Reputation of the Texas Judiciary

Whether or not the judge takes a deal, like Limas, or fights against the charges, like Jones, the reality is that both these men will be spending a significant amount of time behind bars, trading black judicial robes for color-coded cotton jumpsuits.  And the news media will be covering each step in the process of bringing justice in these two cases, every step of the way.

There are plenty of ethical, dedicated men and women serving on the benches of Texas courtrooms, federal and state, today.  However, the more that corruption amidst the Texas judiciary keeps making media headlines (remember Judge Samuel Kent?) the more scandalous our courtrooms become.

Just review the number of Texas Judges whose bad acts have been covered in our “Judge Watch” category.  Judge Roy Bean – the perception lives on.

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