In a closed meeting, concealed from the eyes of the public, the district judges of Tarrant County—led by Judge David Evans—stripped Judge Alex Kim of a job the people elected him to do in November 2018.
Last Thursday, Texas Scorecard broke the story about the emergency meeting called for judges to vote on removing all Child Protective Services cases from the 323rd District Court, where Kim presides. He was elected in 2018 to oversee this court, which specializes in child welfare and juvenile delinquency cases.
Multiple sources in Tarrant County allege Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Tarrant County, along with CPS and Cook Children’s Medical Center, influenced Evans—who oversees all district judges of Tarrant and 17 other counties in the region—to make this move. These sources say this is retribution for Kim being an impartial judge, making CPS follow the law, and intervening to save the life of baby Tinslee Lewis.
The grassroots quickly became alarmed and contacted all of the judges, expressing their support for Kim. County Judge Glen Whitley bemoaned the accountability being cast on the judges voting in this meeting. Texas Scorecard was later tipped off that, instead of airing whatever concerns the other judges had about Kim before the public, they would lock themselves away in the courtroom of Judge Jerry Hennigan and vote in secret.
Around 60 members of the grassroots gathered outside of the courtroom on Thursday, peacefully expressing their support for Kim and their frustration with their vote potentially being overturned in a secret meeting.
“That upsets me,” said voter Kim Fithian, when asked about the judges meeting in secret.
“What are they trying to conceal?” asked Duhnelle Essary.
Others expressed why they were there to support Kim.
“It’s very important to me that we protect our families,” Texans for Vaccine Choice Executive Director Jackie Schlegel said. “And I believe Judge Alex Kim. When he has a case in his court, that’s what he’s doing—he’s doing his job that he was elected to do.”
“He’s trying to uphold the law in CPS cases,” said Eastland County resident Ruth York, who traveled all the way to Fort Worth in support of Kim.
After meeting for over an hour, the decision was final: all CPS cases will be removed from the 323rd District Court of Judge Alex Kim. After March 1, 2020, they will be randomly assigned to the 231st, 233rd, 322nd, 324th, 325th, and 360th District Courts.
The 231st is presided over by Judge Jesse Nevarez, who Texas Scorecard reported has questionable connections to CASA of Tarrant County and gave curious responses to our inquiries.
The 323rd, Kim’s court, will be restricted to juvenile cases.
“There’s a question of, ‘Do we elect people to do what they think is best? Or to do what we as voters want them to do?’ Kim replied after the meeting when asked if the decision went against what voters had hired him to do.
“If you’re asking me if I’m disappointed, no, I’m not,” Kim added. “That’s not the issue. The issue is this is part of the process, and we just need to respect that on every level.”
Local activist Joel Starnes had very strong words regarding the alleged ringleader of this affair.
“We got Judge David Evans, who we’re calling Tarrant County’s Adam Schiff,” Starnes said, referencing the California representative who led the impeachment charge against President Donald Trump.
When asked why he was referring to Evans that way, Starnes said, “Because, just as Adam Schiff held secret meetings to start the impeachment process against Donald Trump, which was all a sham, we had the same thing happen here.”
“Tarrant County parents need to be extra cautious,” Empower Texans General Counsel Tony McDonald tweeted that same day. “If CPS is complaining that Kim is making it too hard for them, that’s a bad sign for respect for parental rights and due process moving forward.”