Private Reprimand of a Justice of the Peace. (07/11/11)
The judge willfully and/or persistently violated the law when he allowed defendants to make donations to private non-profit organizations in exchange for a credit on their assessed fines. The judge's practice of maintaining and providing a list of approved organizations to which the defendants were allowed to make donations, which list included a scholarship program started by the judge, combined with the "Thank You" letters sent to the judge by the organizations who received the donations, created the impression that (1) he was personally soliciting donations on behalf of those organizations, (2) he was lending the prestige of his judicial office to advance the organizations' private interests, and (3) the organizations were in a special position to influence him. [Violation of Canons 2B and 4C(2) of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.] Private Reprimand of a Justice of the Peace. (07/11/11).