Sanctioned Texas Judge, Treated For PTSD, Ponders New Campaign for Bench
Former Judge Guy Williams filed a campaign finance report that indicates he’s running in the March 2020 primary for Nueces County’s 214th District Court.
A former judge in Corpus Christi who was sanctioned for judicial misconduct and who has pending criminal charges is pondering a campaign for a new bench.
Guy Williams, who presided over Nueces County’s 148th District Court from 2010 to 2018 and declined to seek reelection because of his legal troubles, filed a campaign finance report with the state that says he’s running in the March 2020 primary for Nueces County’s 214th District Court.
Williams’ attorney, Amie Augenstein, said the campaign finance report is a legal requirement for any candidate who is running in the upcoming election. While Williams has some interest, he still hasn’t made a final decision about running, and if he does, he’s not sure which bench to target, she said.
Williams is a retired U.S. Marine who fought in the Vietnam War. He suffers severe post-traumatic stress disorder that creates anger issues and has led to excessive alcohol consumption, according to a report in the Corpus Christi Caller Times.
“I never meant to hurt anyone,” the Corpus Christi Caller Times quotes Williams as saying. “I will have PTSD for the rest of my life. There is no cure, only coping skills. I have learned that I can explain why I behave the way that I have. I can hope that somewhere some veterans listen to my story and know that they are not alone. If I can take my experiences from those of shame and dishonor and help someone else, I will again feel that I have helped my fellow veterans.”
Current 214th District Judge Inna Klein said she’ll know for sure who her primary opponent will be, if anyone, by the Dec. 10 deadline to file for the primary.
“Whether it’s Judge Williams who decides to run against me or someone else, or nobody, I’m going to continue working,” Klein said. “I think every day on the bench that I do the right thing, I hopefully get the vote of somebody else who still believes in justice.”
This summer, a special court of review publicly reprimanded Williams for groping three female public officials at a party and issuing a legally incompetent ruling in a family law case where he removed two children from two mothers without the correct legal process. It also found he’d made biased, prejudicial statements against the Nueces County District Attorney’s Office, which he alleged manipulates and uses crime victims to its advantage.
In all of the complaints, the court found that Williams’ behavior cast discredit on the judiciary, and he had shown willful and persistent conduct that was inconsistent with his duties.
On the criminal law front, the ex-judge will have a trial, scheduled for Oct. 2, for misdemeanor charges of public intoxication and resisting arrest for behavior after a car accident in which Williams was a passenger and suffered a concussion. Augenstein said Williams hasn’t done any of the things of which he’s been accused.
In March 2018, a jury acquitted Williams of one felony aggravated-assault charge, and declared a mistrial for a second aggravated-assault charge in a case in which the ex-judge was accused of trying to run a vehicle off the road and pointing a gun at its occupants in a road rage incident. While those charges were pending, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct in November 2017 suspended Williams from the bench.
WHAT DID THE REPRIMANDS MEAN?
The reprimands prevented Williams from serving as a sitting judge, which his attorneys argued prevented him from working in order to get his retirement benefits.
The reprimands did not, however, prevent Williams from running for political office, whether that be a judge’s seat or other elected position.
In Re Inquiry Concerning Honorable Guy Williams.
On May 17, 2019, the Special Court of Review issued its opinion, as well as a concurring and dissenting opinion, on matters appealed from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct proceedings; Special Court of Review Opinion, Docket No. 19-0001, In Re Inquiry Concerning Honorable Guy Williams.