Posted Sep 25, 2013 05:55 pm CDT
A Texas judge who is facing unusual repercussions over his work as a prosecutor decades ago resigned from the bench on Tuesday, effective immediately.
State District Judge Ken Anderson, who formerly served as district attorney of Williamson County, faxed a letter Tuesday to Gov. Rick Perry that was dated a day earlier. It gave no reason for his resignation. The governor responded by wishing him well, according to the Dallas Morning News and the Statesman (sub. req.).
In a statement Tuesday released by his attorney, Anderson thanked his supporters and said it was time for him to leave public life, an Austin Community Newspapers article reports.
“I have spent the past 28 years as an elected official. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience as Williamson County has transitioned from a sleepy rural county to the dynamic county it is today,” Anderson says in the statement. “I greatly appreciate the support I have received from the public, the Bar, the law enforcement community, judiciary, and other public officials.
“There comes a time when every public official must decide that it is time to leave public life. For me and my family, that time is now. For the foreseeable future I will be focused solely on making the transition into private life. As I begin this transition, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make our community the great place it is to live, work, and raise a family.”
Anderson was the subject of an unusual court of inquiry concerning his role in the 1987 prosecution and wrongful conviction of Michael Morton, who served 25 years for the murder of his wife before he was exonerated. The former DA now faces criminal and legal ethics cases over his work on the Morton prosecution.
A legal ethics trial concerning a complaint filed against Anderson by the state bar last year was scheduled to begin Monday in Williamson County, but was rescheduled for November, according to KEYE.
Anderson is accused in the case of withholding exculpatory evidence in the Morton prosecution, the Texas Tribune reports.
After the court of inquiry, Anderson faces a criminal case as well in which he is charged with evidence tampering and a misdemeanor tampering with government records count. He is also accused of failing to comply with an order to turn over evidence that could support Morton’s claim of innocence, for which he could be held in contempt if found to have done so.
Anderson has maintained that he did nothing wrong but said he regrets the justice system errors that led to Morton’s conviction.
ABAJournal.com: “‘Extraordinary Legal Event’ Unfolds as Man Exonerated of Wife’s Murder Seeks to Hold DA Accountable”
ABAJournal.com: “Texas Bar Files Disciplinary Case Against Ex-DA, Who Is Now a Judge, re Murder Prosecution”
ABAJournal.com: “Former DA jailed after judge issues scathing opinion in rare Texas court of inquiry”
Updated at 4:45 p.m. to include and accord with KEYE coverage.