White-Collar Crime

Jury Convicts Texas Judge in Bribery Case; Campaign Donors Allegedly Expected Favorable Rulings

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A Texas judge was convicted yesterday of multiple counts of bribery and other crimes, in a case focused on 2008 campaign donations from individuals who allegedly expected favorable rulings in a family court matter, in exchange for the money.

District Judge Suzanne Wooten, 43, testified that she knew nothing about improper donations, and one of her defense lawyers argued that she had willingly taken a pay cut in order to serve on the bench, the McKinney Courier-Gazette reports.

She also recused herself from hearing the donors’ family court matter after she was elected, according to the article.

But a Collin County jury apparently was not persuaded. It convicted her yesterday, after a day-and-a-half of deliberation, of six counts of bribery, money laundering, conspiring to engage in criminal activity and tampering with a government record.

The penalty phase of her case is expected to begin on Monday and could conclude by Wednesday.

A number of local defense attorneys have attended the trial in support of Wooten, the article notes.

The Associated Press and Dallas Morning News (sub. req.) also have stories.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyers Show Up in Court to Support Indicted Texas Judge”

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