A second round of complaints have been filed against Collin County District Judge Chris Oldner related to comments Oldner made about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s legal case. He is already being investigated by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct due to other complaints filed in January.
Last year, Oldner procured indictments from a Collin County grand jury related to Paxton’s private business. The Dallas Court of Appeals is currently reviewing Oldner’s behavior in the case. He recused himself after it was revealed that he had leaked confidential grand jury information to his wife, who then repeated the information to others in Collin County.
The most recent complaints, filed again by Tarrant County resident Aaron Harris, focus on a media interview Judge Older gave to the Dallas Morning News after the SEC announced charges almost identical to the criminal indictment secured by Judge Oldner against Attorney General Ken Paxton.
In the interview, Oldner called Paxton’s defense “desperate” and referred to it as a “tapestry of lies.” Oldner also falsely alleged that Paxton and his assistants “intimidated” and “manipulated” Collin County Commissioner Susan Fletcher into filing an affidavit in his case. Fletcher was the individual who exposed that Oldner and his wife had leaked confidential grand jury information.
The judge’s comments are alleged to violate canons of judicial conduct that prohibit judges from disparaging a legal defense in a way that might bias potential jurors.
“Chris Oldner continues to violate the canons of judicial ethics and should be sanctioned by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct,” commented Harris. “It is clear from his proactive comments to the news media that he has an agenda to punish Ken Paxton and sought to add fuel to the fire with these most recent remarks.”
Afraid that he would lose his reelection in Collin County, Oldner instead chose to “fall upward” and ran a losing campaign for the Court of Criminal Appeals. Oldner was eliminated from contention in March.