The Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) issued six disciplinary actions to judges in the month of April. Four of the disciplinary actions judges received were public.
The judges receiving public discipline are as follows:
The Honorable Judge Clyde Black:
On April 7, 2022, the Honorable Clyde Black, a Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, located in Crockett, Houston County, Texas received a Public Warning.
The complaints received by the SCJC covers the time period of September 2020 to February 2021. Per the Public Warning, “[t]he complaints concern the judge’s social media postings involving racial and/or religious subject mater, arrest warrants the judge issued for the President of the United States and the President’s medical advisor, and the subsequent national publicity regarding same, and the judge’s use of his judicial office to publicize and solicit donations for a charity he formed.”
The SCJC issued a Public Warning to Judge Black, “for posting and reposting racial, ethnic and religious comments and/or memes on social media, his improper issuance of Peace Bond Warrants for President Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci based on alleged “threats to commit an offense” against multiple anonymous complainants; and lending the prestige of his judicial office to advance the private interest of his own charitable or civic organization, and soliciting funds for the organization.”
The Honorable Judge William Shane Nolen:
On April 7, 2022, the Honorable Judge William Shane Nolen, a former Associate Judge, for the 323rd District Court, located in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas received a Public Admonishment.
Judge Nolen received three complaints. Two of the complaints, CJC No’s. 20-0393 and 20-0622, occurred due to Judge Nolen being terminated as an Associate Judge for the 323rd District Court in Tarrant County, Texas. Judge Nolen was a party to a suit brought by the Department of Family and Protective Services in Denton County, Texas. The suit concerned his children. It was alleged that Judge Nolen was uncooperative with the court and violated the court’s Temporary Orders. Due to the allegation of violating a court order, Judge Nolen was terminated from his position with Tarrant Count. The third complaint, CJC No. 20-1565, was initiated by the SCJC due to a publishing in a news repot that Judge Nolen participated in an after hours “poker-party,” in Tarrant County Juvenile Justice Center, in violation of county and city ordinances and policies.
Judge Nolen was given a Public Admonishment for failing to cooperate with the SCJC investigation on the complaints.
The Honorable Judge Barbara Stadler:
On April 20, 2022, the Honorable Judge Barbara Stadler, of the 280th Family Protective Order Court, located in Houston, Harris County, Texas received a Public Reprimand.
An attorney alleged that during a protective order hearing, Judge Stadler threatened to hold the attorney in contempt of court for not answering the Judge’s questions concerning an exchange between himself and the mother-in-law of his client. The attorney informed the court that he used profanity in the hallway, during an exchange with the mother-in-law. Judge Stadler ordered the attorney to apologize in open court. Judge Stadler instructed her bailiff to take the attorney into custody. He was physically shackled to the jury box. A full courtroom was able to witness the attorney in shackles.
During the investigation by the SCJC, it was identified this may not have been the only time Judge Stadler has ordered someone shackled to the jury box in her court. An incident of similar fashion was discovered to have occurred after the matter raised in the initial complaint.
Judge Stadler responded to the SCJC and stated she did order her bailiff to escort both individuals, in separate settings, to the jury box. She did not, appear to, respond to whether either attorney was shackled. In the latter incident, Judge Stadler acknowledged, after reading the reporter’s record, how it could appear someone would believe he may be placed into custody.
The SCJC issued a Public Reprimand for ordering an attorney to the jury box where her bailiff shackled him to a chair in the jury box during a protective order hearing; and, continuing the hearing with the parties, including the attorney’s client, while the attorney was shackled in the jury box; and just over a week later, having another attorney escorted to the jury box where her bailiff shackled him to a chair in the jury box; then, instructing the attorney’ s son who had arrived to represent the attorney, never to come into her courtroom again. In neither case did Judge Stalder initiate contempt proceedings ofany kind against either attorney.
The Honorable Clint E. “Chip” Wells:
On April 20, 2022, the Honorable Judge Clint. “Chip” Wells, of the 312th Family District Court, located in Houston, Harris County, Texas received a Public Admonishment.
During April 2019, Judge Wells was presiding over a divorce case. During the case, it was said he would express irritation at both lawyers. He would slam his fists, or books on the bench. He would erupt in anger at counsel, used a harsh and sarcastic tone of voice; as well as, announce abrupt recesses, or walk off the bench in frustration and anger.
On April 17, 2019, Judge Wells ordered the attorney representing the wife in the case, to his chambers. The conference lasted about two hours. The following day, Judge Wells was recused from the case and the divorce was reheard by another court.
Judge Wells, in response to the SCJC, acknowledged his failures and that he has sought professional counseling to correct his behavior and believes he has taken responsibility for his actions.
Judge Wells received a Public Admonishment and ordered to complete additional education.
You may also be interested in reading our publishing on a prior Magistrate Judge that sued his prior employees over claims he was libeled, defamed, and slandered during his campaign attempt to be a District Court Judge.
Or you may like to read our publishing on an attorney being disbarred for representing her roommate after she filed a complaint on the roommate.
Categories: The Lone Star Review - State