Texas judge suspended after sexting bailiff, buying marijuana and other drugs
A judge in Houston was suspended today by the Texas Supreme Court amid accusations that she sexted her bailiff, use the bailiff to buy drugs, hired prostitutes, and once consumed marijuana she seized from a defendant.
Hilary H. Green, a Harris County justice of the peace elected in 2007 as a Democrat, became the subject of an investigation after her divorce from the City of Houston Controller Ronald C. Green. During the divorce proceedings, each accused one another of ethical misdeeds the Houston Chronicle reported in 2015.
While the judge claimed her husband had cheated on her and concealed assets, according to the paper, Ronald Green called his wife a drug addict who “operates daily with impaired judgment as evidenced by her presiding over cases in which she has ongoing sexual relationships with litigants and witnesses.”
These accusations prompted a formal complaint from the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct recommending that Judge Green be suspended.
The Washington Post reports the numerous allegations made against Judge Green, some of which she admitted to.
Claude Barnes, whom Green acknowledged as her ex-lover, testified that the two hired prostitutes for threesomes, though Judge Green denied that allegation.
Referring to one such meeting with a prostitute, Barnes testified “The three of us sat. We smoked marijuana. We had a couple drinks and then three of us had sex.”
He further alleged that he repeatedly helped Judge Green buy prescription cough syrup on the black market and that she once came to his house with a bag of marijuana and “told me they took it off a kid in her courtroom … one of the bailiffs gave this to me.”
In May, the commission asked the state Supreme Court to suspend Judge Green while it prepared a case to permanently remove her from the bench.
“To this day, Judge Green has apparently made no attempt to reassign the bailiff with whom she actively participated in an inappropriate sexual texting relation and whom she recruited to assist in illegal drug activity,” wrote the executive director of the commission. “She engaged the services of a peace officer to commit a criminal act, and indeed he was apparently willing to do so. Incredibly, Judge Green sees nothing wrong with the arrangement.”
Judge Green’s attorney Chip Babcock told The Washington Post that Green would have debunked many of the accusations, had she been given the opportunity. And what the judge had done wrong, he said, had been aired publicly in last year’s reelection and forgiven by the public.
“It all ended in late 2013 or early 2014,” Babcock said of the drug abuse. “She sought help and her doctors testified she was drug free and didn’t have any problem. And then she got reelected with 86 percent of the vote.”
Green’s suspension will last until a civil trial can be held to consider whether to remove her from office. Babcock argued that the Supreme Court should hear oral arguments instead and allow Judge Green’s case to be heard. He then stated that a civil trial could take years, and that by then a new person would already be elected to the seat.