Collin county judge Scott Becker fails to force runoff

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Scott Becker

A Collin County judge best known for his role in the criminal case against Attorney General Ken Paxton lost his job Tuesday night after failing to force a runoff in a four-person primary election.

Judge Scott Becker, who was appointed to the 219th Judicial District bench in 2010 by Gov. Rick Perry, and easily re-elected in 2014, won’t even be on the ballot this fall, after pulling just 25.31 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Attorney Jennifer Edgeworth won the Republican nomination outright with 50.82% of the vote.

Becker briefly presided over the Paxton case right after the indictments were handed up, and made the decision to bring in three private attorneys from Houston to serve as special prosecutors, rather than asking a neighboring district attorney to try the case.

Becker also agreed to pay those attorneys $300 an hour, a decision that an appeals court last year ruled was illegal, although that ruling is still being reviewed by the Court of Criminal Appeals.

Becker’s decision resulted in legal bills of $810,000 and counting, all payable by Collin County taxpayers, in the service of prosecuting a theoretical securities law violation that’s already been found meritless in federal court.

Meanwhile, a local politician known for questioning those legal bills is likely to become the next County Judge, following the primary.

Chris Hill, who joined with his colleague Susan Fletcher on the Commissioners Court in challenging the $300-an-hour handshake deal, won his own race for the Republican nomination for Collin County Judge, with 60.84 percent of the vote.

The general election in November is something of an afterthought in the heavily Republican county. Incumbent Keith Self did not seek re-election.

Becker will be returning to private life, as did his friend and former colleague on the bench, Chris Oldner, who oversaw the grand jury’s indictment of Paxton, before recusing himself after his wife was discovered gloating about the sealed indictment.

Oldner and Becker both came up as prosecutors under former District Attorney John Roach, who was known for conducting criminal investigations of his political enemies.

Judge George Gallagher of nearby Tarrant County, who presided over the case for more than two years, until a higher court ordered him off last year, was safe from any voter backlash, not facing a primary election until 2020.

Jon Cassidy can be reached at [email protected]
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Jon Cassidy is a reporter for The Texas Monitor and a contributing editor for The American Spectator. He has been an investigative reporter for Watchdog.org and an editor and reporter for The Orange County Register. His work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, City Journal, The Federalist, Fox News, Chronicles, Reason, and other publications. He was a 2014 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow, and is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He and his wife Michelle live just outside Houston with their two children.

16 COMMENTS

  1. I am so glad to see this judge finally off the bench. He oversaw my case and made a ruling that my child can miss school days/be absent from school to have visitation with father. Becker’s words I’ll never forget we’re “it’s his (father’s) right to screw his kid up if he wants”.

  2. Becker is a corrupt and immoral human being. God finally got ya Scottie boy. I’m sure he’s not finished yet.

  3. Scott Becker is judge that lets criminals go SCOTT FREE . He let a wife beater go free ,charges were assault and drunk and disorderly . The police officers said that he told them he did it they smelt beer on his breath . Glad he is gone .And I don’t live in Collin county.

  4. Unlike the partisan trolls who blindly place party ahead of everything else, Scott Becker is a strong Christian who, when handed a hot potato case with ridiculous political ramifications, prayerfully made decisions in line with precedence which placed Lady Justice’s blindfold over politics. While many may prefer a Soviet-style state in which the judiciary is a puppet of the ruling party, Texas is not quite there yet, though this judicial election may help us get there.

    • No. It was a victory by Collin County taxpayers that didn’t want more libtard prosecutors imported from blue Houston to steal from taxpayers. There was no crime. There might have been a small fine due for failing to dot an “i” on a form, but not much more than that. It was a blatant political hit job.

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