Davis Calls for Sanctions Against Judicial Commission in Response

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He may not be running for the seat again, but a Brazos County judge will fight to serve the rest of his term.

District Court Judge Rick Davis issued a pointed rebuttal to charges that he is unable to judge impartially, that he improperly empanelled a grand jury, and that he wrongfully initiated court of inquiry proceedings.

In a strong response sent Wednesday, Davis calls for sanctions against the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, and says they should pay all expenses based on that action. This comes on the heels of an amended complaint by the commission late last month.

There are a total of three charges, the first regarding a website Davis created in the aftermath of his 2002 public reprimand. The commission says Davis wrongfully attacked District Attorney Bill Turner, assistant Laura Cass, the commission and others in the judiciary through the site.

In the response, it is maintained that Davis' site was a means to lobby for change in what he calls "nefarious practices" of the commission, and adds that the commission concealed secret evidence against him and did not allow him to respond to it.

The response describes Davis efforts to get his issues with the commission on the state legislative agenda. It is written that in 2005, a House bill was filed, but did not make it out of committee discussion for a vote. No bills were filed during the 2007 legislative session, the response adds.

Despite his failed efforts, Davis believes his right to question the commission's practices is protected under the US and Texas constitutions.

The second charge is that Davis improperly impaneled a grand jury, one that met secretly in 2005 to discuss charges against Bill Turner, charges that were eventually dropped.

Davis cites the visiting judge in the court of inquiry from the summer of 2006 found no wrong doing in the grand jury's extension, and that the commission is accusing him of misconduct that Davis has already been exonerated for.

"The Commission, not satisfied with the findings handed down by Judge Cynthia Kent, who herself heard the testimony from numerous witnesses, which included (but was not limited to) the three Grand Jury Commissioners that commissioned the said Grand Jury and all twelve Grand Jury members, seeks to relitigate these issues to oppress (Davis)," the response reads.

The final charge is that Davis improperly called the court of inquiry in the first place. It was against Assistant DA Shane Phelps, accusing him of improperly influencing the grand jury investigating Turner.

Davis says the court by its nature is to investigate possible violations, and that it was necessary to investigate possible wrongdoing by Phelps, which Phelps was cleared of.

Davis believes the entire proceedings by the commission are a form of retaliation against him for exposing unconstitutional practices and distorted truths.

"Were judges not excluded from protections afforded civil servants by the Whistleblower Act, (Davis) could bring suit under it for the Commission's retaliation against him," the response reads.

If the commission moves to remove him from the bench, Davis has asked for a jury trial.