Thursday, May 31, 2012

Range Resources judge loses primary

Here in Harris County, we have seen what happens when the wealthy try to buy themselves a judge: they win. In Parker County, they take care of business the old-fashioned way: the voters turn him out at the polls.

A Parker County judge who, in the midst of an environmental case, bragged in campaign literature that he had forced the EPA to turn tail lost his Republican primary battle Tuesday.

State District Judge Trey Loftin's next challenge will be to stay on the bench as the case involving gas drilling proceeds.

Steven Lipsky and his wife, Shyla, who sued Range Resources, filed a court motion Tuesday to disqualify or recuse Loftin. The motion says Loftin released campaign mailers urging his re-election on the basis of "rulings he had made against the Lipskys."

The motion further argues that Loftin believed that the outcome of the case would affect his re-election and "thus, the campaign mailers show that Judge Loftin believes that he had a direct financial and personal interest in the outcome of the proceeding, which requires his disqualification."

On Tuesday, he lost to Weatherford attorney Craig Towson, who captured 52 percent of the vote, according to unofficial returns. Towson, who could not be reached for comment, previously said a judge shouldn't "ever comment about a case pending in his court."

Yes, you are correct; I did blog about this last week.

I like it when the wheels of justice grind a little faster than usual. Don't you?

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