A controversial closed-door meeting of district judges has drawn the attention of a North Texas state representative and House committee chairman. He has since requested the transcripts of the meeting after judges in Tarrant County voted to remove all cases involving Child Protective Services from the court of Judge Alex Kim.

The past week saw an eruption of controversy in Tarrant County as the grassroots rose up over an emergency meeting to remove all CPS cases from the 323rd District Court of Judge Alex Kim—a meeting that was closed to the public.

Dozens of concerned citizens gathered outside the doors, in a show of protest and to raise public awareness on social media, while the judges deliberated in private.

In a Twitter post, State Rep. Jeff Leach (R–Allen) also expressed concern, particularly about the meeting being held behind closed doors. Leach indicated he would call for a public hearing before the Texas House Committee on Judiciary & Civil Jurisprudence if the judges do not “explain the reasoning & legal basis for this decision.”

Last Thursday, the judges voted to remove all CPS cases from Kim. A transcript of the meeting—including a record of the vote—was made available to Texas Scorecard earlier today.

On February 22, in response to a call by State Rep. James White (R–Hillister) to “call the hearing,” Leach again took to Twitter and said he had “formally requested the transcript” and that it would be available “for all Texans to review.”

“No ill motives are imputed and perhaps nothing improper occurred (which I hope is the case). But make no mistake: we’ll get to the bottom of this.”

Layla Caraway, a local activist in Tarrant County, provided the following comment when asked about Leach’s postings.

“What I’d really like to know is how many of these meetings have been closed? Were those transcripts released? Were cases removed? Or are we setting a precedent where judges who were elected by the people are not held accountable to the people for their actions?”

Texas Scorecard requested copies of the transcripts and received them earlier today.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.

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