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Sharon Keller, Chief Justice of the Highest Texas Criminal Court, Gets Highest Ethics Fine in Texas History

Late last week, the Texas Ethics Commission officially fined the Chief Justice of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals $100,000 — making history as the highest fine ever issued by the TEC since it began.   Seems the TEC found that Justice Keller’s omissions from her disclosure statements were pretty darn serious.

The basis of this big, fat fine? 

Almost a year ago to the day of her TEC fine, Chief Justice Sharon Keller amended her financial statements, to add $2.4 million in income and property.  Things kinda take on a different perspective when you realize that the $100K fine is about equal to one year’s investment income on the properties that Justice Keller added to her financial statements last year.  (She gets about that in annual salary ($110,000) from the State of Texas for presiding over the CCA, too.) 

What about Justice Keller’s other problems ? 

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct is still deciding her fate — whether to  (1) remove her from elected office; (2) dismiss the charges against her; or (3) reprimand her (she gets cited as doing something bad, but keeps her job).  The public hearing in that matter is set for June 18, 2010 in Austin. 

It’s scheduled to start at 9:00 am in Room 140 of the John H. Reagan State Office Building, 105 W. 15th, Austin, Texas, 78701, if you’re interested in attending.

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