Embattled District Attorney Jana Duty filed a motion to dismiss the removal suit filed against her by County Attorney Dee Hobbs. The motion, filed by Duty’s defense attorney’s, cites Duty did not withhold evidence during a Capital Murder trial and a gag order she was ruled to have violated was unconstitutional.
Duty was found guilty and incarcerated last August on five counts of violating a court order. Duty then waived her right to appeal and served a ten day sentence in the County Jail. But now Duty says she did not do anything wrong even though she was found guilty and waived her appeal. Oddly, Duty not only admitted to guilt once, but twice when she copped a plea deal with the State Bar of Texas in June again admitting to committing the offenses she now says never happened.
Duty was also found to have intentionally and willfully withheld evidence in a Capital Murder trial by a State Judge. The Third Court of Appeals just ruled on this also. But, Duty, who never tried a felony case in her life (prior to the one that landed her in jail) says everyone from a State District Judge to the Court of Criminal Appeals is wrong and she is right, even though she admitted to the wrongdoings.
Regarding withholding evidence, Duty said she did not tell the defense about key evidence in the case because “they acted so horribly to me during the first trial, that I just didn’t even want to speak to them”. She also said she failed to tell the defense about software because “after the way I was treated throughout the entire trial, I really didn’t feel very magnanimous”.
In May, Duty negotiated and accepted a plea deal acknowledging she lied in a Capital Murder trial and violated a court order. The Evidentiary Panel and Duty agreed and concluded that the following Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct were violated: 4.01 (a), 3.04(d), 8.02(a), 8.04(a)(3).
- Disciplinary Rule 4.01 (a) Truthfulness in Statements to Others
- Disciplinary Rule 3.04 (d) Violating Court Order
- Disciplinary Rule 8.04 (a)(3) Dishonesty, Deceit, Misrepresentation
- Disciplinary Rule 8.02 (a). Judicial and Legal Officials (a) A lawyer shall not make a statement that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge, adjudicatory official or public legal officer, or of a candidate for election or appointment to judicial or legal office.
Duty was given an 18 month probated suspension in exchange for her guilty plea.
Duty says the “gag order” she was found guilty of violating is “unconstitutional”. A State District Judge, The Third Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals disagree. Duty appealed the validity of the “gag order” to those courts in mid 2015. All three of her appeals were shot down.
Duty is now trying to rewrite history. She was found guilty of, waived appeal, plead guilty to and served time in jail for the same issues she now shes she did not do. Bottom line, the chief law enforcement officer in Williamson County is a convicted criminal who plead guilty to “dishonesty, deceit, misrepresentation, violating a court order and truthfulness ins statements to others”.
Duty, sounding more like a person up for parole than an elected District Attorney, stated she “does not pose a danger to public welfare.” Duty plead guilty to Professional Misconduct in 2011 by the State Bar of Texas. In direct defiance to the State Bar of Texas, after the plea agreement was signed, Duty publicly stated she wears her reprimand“as a badge of honor” and if given the chance again she would “do it all over again”. Duty held true to her words and again violated the code of professional conduct and plead guilty to committing several counts of Professional Misconduct.
One long time attorney stated “We all know what would happen if a defendant in a Capital Murder trial lied under oath and tampered with evidence; Duty would have them indicted and charged. But yet she feels she is above the law and should not be held accountable. Even worse, she is now trying to rewrite history as if none of her illegal behavior ever happened. Great example for our top law enforcement official to set.”
To distort the issues even further, Duty says her “actions, at worst, reflect an error in judgment in dealing with opposing counsel and responding to the court in that case.” Then again, there’s an old saying with convicts serving time in prison; “we‘re all innocent in here”.