In endorsing another elected official by holding a joint fundraiser with him, Waller County Judge Carbett “Trey” Duhon III misused the “prestige of his judicial office,” according to a ruling by the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
The punishment is a “public warning,” which amounts to letting county residents know what happened.
The ruling was first reported by the Houston Chronicle.
Duhon had violated two rules from the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct: One preventing judges from advancing “the private interest of the judge or others,” and another forbidding judges from using their names to publicly support other candidates.
The ruling stemmed from a concert at Waller Creek Fairgrounds held by a political action committee called Citizens in Support of Duhon & Mathis, to raise money for Duhon and Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis.
Flyers said that concert tickets could be purchased at “the law firm of Trey Duhon.”
The commission ruled that this advanced the private interests of the judge, damaging the office’s prestige.
Duhon was a member of the PAC. He had reviewed the flyers and yet “did not object to its contents or its distribution,” the commission stated.
Specifically, according to the commission: “A judge shall not authorize the public use of his or her name endorsing another candidate for any public office.”
Duhon did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to the Chronicle.
Trent Seibert can be reached at [email protected] or at 832-258-6119.