The Houston Chronicle reports that the District Attorney’s office is once again investigating Denise Pratt, the embattled Family District Judge, for a complaint recently lodged against her for summarily and unilaterally dismissing hundreds of cases. As many will recall, this is not the first time that the DA’s office has looked into possible wrongdoing from Judge Pratt. Last year, a grand jury was even impaneled against her following accusations of backdating orders. A grand jury later no-billed her for those alleged offenses.
In this new round of complaints, however, Judge Pratt has been accused of backdating some orders in open court. Additionally, the aforementioned issues over unilateral dismissal of ongoing cases have continued to dogged Judge Pratt. The significance of these legal and ethical issues is that Judge Pratt will continue to be hounded by negative publicity as the final days pass before the Republican primary. As many may recall, Judge Pratt drew four challengers in her Republican primary, including the very capable Anthony Magdaleno (who, of course, Texpatriate endorsed).
I do not really have any contacts at the DA’s Public Integrity Office, so I have no idea how the tentative investigation might be going. Further, if another Grand Jury is impaneled against Judge Pratt, it is still anyone’s guess as to how that will turn out. Realistically, I cannot imagine any scenario where she is actually convicted and sentenced to any tangible punishment.
I voted this afternoon, and thoroughly enjoyed these signs I saw. As the District Attorney’s office continues to investigate Judge Pratt for her wrongdoings, I cannot help but think I may see more of these.