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Did Bribery Help Texas Family in Child Custody Case?

For the sake of privacy, no names of the parties involved in the case we are about to discuss will be shared. It is a sensitive case that not only affects two Texas children, but also the career of an area judge. According to the Dallas Morning News, a couple, a campaign consultant and a Texas family law judge are all accused of working together for mutual benefits.

In the case of the family, they have been part of an ongoing child custody dispute over two children that the husband has from a previous marriage. A former judge once granted custody of the kids to the father's ex-wife, a decision that the father challenged through the court system. He persisted but was met with failure, that was until a new judge began handling his case.

In May of this year, a Texas judge granted the father and his current wife primary custody of his daughters. That favorable decision was made after a new judge beat out the judge who presided over the family's family law case in previous years. That timing, including an existing link between the family and the campaign consultant who worked for the new judge raised some eyebrows in the system.

The family has reportedly worked with the campaign consultant before through their family advocacy group and, therefore, shares a connection to the same consultant who worked on the new judge's campaign. Did the Texas couple give money to the consultant managing the new judge's campaign in order to oust the former judge out of his seat and replace him with someone who would rule in their favor?

While the defendant judge did not preside over the family's case, it is believed that she could have pulled strings in order for her replacement to grant custody of the girls to their father. The family, consultant and judge are charged with bribery and engaging in organized criminal activity. Defense attorneys in this case deny any wrongdoing on behalf of the various defendants. Until the case is over, the judge is suspended from her position.

Source

The Dallas Morning News: "Couple in custody battle accused of paying judge for favorable rulings," Valerie Wigglesworth, Ed Housewright and Matthew Haag, 23 Oct. 2010

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