Former Judge Who Was Caught Texting Instructions To Prosecutors Now Running For District Attorney Post
from the well,-at-least-it's-now-perfectly-clear-which-side-she's-on dept
Judges are supposed to be impartial arbiters of justice. However, former Texas judge Elizabeth Coker felt the prosecution needed a helping hand now and then to ensure "justice" was done and provided hints via text messages to district attorneys. Once evidence of her ex parte communications became public knowledge after an investigation, Coker resigned -- or as she put it, "took one for the team."
While I could have fought these allegations, it would have involved significant time, significant expense, and disruption to everyone involved. I did not feel that was in the best interests of the taxpayers, our court system, my family or myself" Coker stated.With Coker graciously stepping aside rather than facing the consequences of her actions, many people thought the Texas judicial system was finished with the disgraced judge. And maybe it was. Unfortunately, it appears Coker's not quite finished with the Texas judicial system.
Her resignation became effective Dec. 6. Her campaign to become the district attorney of Polk County became effective Dec. 8.This move makes it painfully apparent where Coker's allegiances laid during her tenure as a judge. In her mind, justice is punishing alleged wrongdoers and little else. The defense of the accused runs a very distant second. Her press release posted at Polk County Today makes this even more explicit.
“I am running for Polk County Criminal District Attorney!!!” she wrote in a Facebook post. “The support and encouragement I am receiving has been overwhelming and humbling. I want to thank all my family, friends and supporters who still want me as a public servant."
My reputation as a judge was being tough on crime. However, a prosecutor not only has to be tough but also smart on crime. I have the experience, knowledge and expertise to not only continue to be tough on crime but also be fiscally responsible while protecting the citizens of Polk County.Judges are there to help ensure wrongdoers are punished, but being "tough on crime" isn't part of the job description. Apparently, Coker feels it is. She was "tough on crime" as a judge, so she pitched in and offered assistance to prosecutors and attorneys who might have otherwise made her appear slightly less "tough on crime."
Her ethics violations were enough to get her stripped of her title. Coker can't even officiate a wedding at this point, but somehow feels her very recent past should have no bearing on her future as a "tough on crime" district attorney. This is a pretty bold move for a person in her position, one that should further call into question the cases she presided over as a judge. As the Commission noted back in October, Coker showed "a bias in favor of certain attorneys and a prejudice against others in both her judicial rulings and her court appointments." This is hardly the sort of person that should be elected to another post within the judicial system. If she was willing to break rules to help ensure convictions as a judge, there's no reason to believe she'll be any better behaved as a district attorney.