Houston Justice of the Peace Hilary Green should be suspended because of her “outright betrayal of the public’s trust,” according to a filing by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to the Texas Supreme Court.
In the document — reported first by the Houston Chronicle — Green admitted to illegally obtaining prescription drugs and using marijuana and ecstasy at the same time she was presiding over drug possession cases involving minors in her court. She also admitted to sexting a bailiff while on the bench.
There are also allegations in the filing that Green and an unnamed state Senator “used cocaine together.”
The document’s release comes in a wake of an ugly and high-profile divorce between Green and her husband, the city of Houston’s former controller.
The commission filing confirms that the latest misconduct complaint against Green arrived in 2016 from a man who Green has admitted was her extramarital lover, Claude Barnes. Other allegations were made by Green’s ex-husband, former Houston Controller Ronald Green, as part of their divorce.
Green has not responded to the commission’s request she be suspended. But her attorney, Chip Babcock, said he plans to argue that Green cannot be removed from office for alleged misconduct that occurred prior to November 2016, when she was re-elected to office. He argues that her re-election occurred after most of the allegations against her were made public in articles in the Houston Chronicle, or by her opponents during the campaign.
In support of his argument, Babcock cited a Texas state law that says “an officer may not be removed … for an act the officer committed before election to office.”
Others have interpreted that statute to mean before a public official initially took office, which in Green’s case was in 2007.
Other allegations from the filing include:
- Green and her lover hired prostitutes at least once in Houston and once in Austin for three-way sex. In Austin the price tag was $200; in Houston, $150.
- Green was using illegal drugs while fining minors before her in court that were there because of drug possession.
- Green’s lover also claims that during their long-time affair the judge asked him to illegally purchase Tussionex, a prescription cough medicine, on the black market for her. He also describes how he consumed both Ecstacy and marijuana with the judge. And he claims that one of Green’s court officers took marijuana from a detainee and gave it to her.
The Texas Supreme Court has not taken action on the suspension request.
Trent Seibert can be reached at [email protected] or at 832-258-6119.