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Goliad County Judge Reprimanded for Interference of Lawful Duties
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) met June 7th and 8th to discuss allegations against Goliad County Judge Mike Bennett. During the review, Bennett did make an appearance and gave testimony.
The SCJC determined Bennett was the County Judge for Goliad County during the relevant instances under review. The SCJC identified a Goliad County Justice of the Peace issued a warrant on May 25, 2021, to seize cattle that has been mistreated.
The next day, the Goliad County Constables, Brazilian County Livestock, Houston Humane Society Chief Animal Cruelty Officer and others initiated the service of the warrant in the 4300 Block of Frankie Road in Goliad County.
Goliad County Judge Interferes with Warrant Service
At some point during the process of the warrant, Goliad County Judge Mike Bennett arrived at the property. The details are limited, but the SCJC stated Bennett attempted to interfere with the seizures. He engaged in some course of conduct to stop the workers from loading the trailer.
In Bennett’s own testimony, he admitted he asked the workers to stop loading the cattle, but denied he ordered anyone to stop the seizure. He stated he wanted the process to stop until he could find out what was going on.
However, after this encounter, Bennett traveled to a property at FM 622 to do the same thing he did in the 4300 Block of Frankie Road. Bennett made a statement about contacting the Goliad County Justice of the Peace that issued the warrant. He contacted this judge two times and asked for the warrant to be recalled.
Goliad County Judge Attempts to Explain to SCJC Why He Interfered
Bennett stated the cattle were owned by an individual that died several months prior to the incident. He stated a probate hearing was scheduled in his court in the coming week. He believed there was a need to protect the probate case by stopping the seizure. Bennet stated he felt he was protecting the property of the deceased.
The Goliad County Attorney filed a motion to recuse Bennett from the civil hearing on the seizure of the cattle. The motion was based on Bennett’s involvement and his attempt to stop the service of the warrant. He ultimately agreed to voluntarily recuse himself from the case.
Bennett was given a public reprimand for interfering with the legal service of process of the warrant to seize cattle.
A Couple of Our Other Reads
You may be interested in our publishing on a Bexar County Justice of the Peace that agreed to dismiss a case because of a peace officer license surrender.
Or you may find our publishing on a former Bexar County District Judges public admonishment, of interest.
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Categories: The Lone Star Review - State