Texas Republicans Reject Ex-Judge, Sanctioned for Groping 3 Women
The former judge is a retired U.S. Marine who fought in the Vietnam War. He suffers post-traumatic stress disorder that creates anger issues, and has led to excessive alcohol consumption. He’s also gone through intensive treatment for PTSD.
Originally Published: March 9, 2020
Missy Medary and Guy Williams In the Republican Primary, incumbent Judge Missy Medary, left, won 80% of the vote against Guy Williams, right.
Republican voters in Corpus Christi rejected a return to the bench for an ex-judge, who in 2019 received a judicial conduct sanction and was convicted of public intoxication.
Former Judge Guy Williams, who challenged 347th District Judge Missy Medary in the Republican Primary, lost that effort by a landslide on Super Tuesday. He received only 3,235 votes, or 20%, while Medary won 12,737 votes, or 80% of the ballot, according to election results from the Texas Secretary of State’s Office.
Now Medary will compete in the November general election against Deborah Rios, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
Williams’ sanction and conviction became campaign issues.
“This court is too important to our community to allow my opponent, disgraced former judge Guy Williams, back on the bench,” Medary wrote on Facebook. “Please share if you agree that respect, integrity, and character on the bench matters.”
The Corpus Christi Caller-Times’ editorial board wrote in an opinion piece that while Medary is “respected, liked, noncontroversial, and on overachiever among her peers,” that Williams, was “neither widely respected nor liked, and he is controversial.”
Williams didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
The commission initially sanctioned Williams based on five complaints, Texas Lawyer reported in May 2019. He appealed the commission’s sanction, leading to a special court of review holding a trial de novo. That court issued a public reprimand for Williams.
Three of the complaints against him alleged that at a party in August 2017, he inappropriately touched three female public officials: a district judge, the Nueces County district clerk and the deputy chief clerk. The other two complaints leading to his public reprimand alleged disrespectful behavior toward litigants in a family law case, and multiple derogatory statements from the bench against the Nueces County District Attorney’s office.
The sanction wasn’t the end of Williams’ troubles.
In October 2019 a jury convicted Williams of Class C misdemeanor public intoxication for an incident in which he was a passenger in a vehicle that crashed into two palm trees, and then police arrested him for his behavior after the collision.
Williams is appealing the conviction. He is a retired U.S. Marine who fought in the Vietnam War. He suffers post-traumatic stress disorder that creates anger issues, and has led to excessive alcohol consumption. He’s also gone through intensive treatment for PTSD.
Williams tried raising campaign issues about how well Medary was performing as a judge.
He alleged in a Feb. 7 letter to Nueces County District Attorney Mark Gonzalez, which Williams mailed to Texas Lawyer, that Medary had used more than $300,000 in taxpayer funds to call unnecessary jury panels, so that she could distribute a “campaign pamphlet” to potential jurors. Gonzalez didn’t immediately return a call or email seeking comment about the complaint.
Williams also claimed in Texas Lawyer’s judicial candidate questionnaire that Medary ran an inefficient court, didn’t show up to court on time, and had closed a low amount of cases and held few trials compared to other district courts in the county.
However, Medary in 2019 earned statewide recognition for running an efficient court when the Texas Judicial Council named her court as a Center of Excellence.
“As a Center of Excellence, we have been recognized for our efficiency with our dockets and running the day to day operations of the court. We are always striving to improve and will continue to take innovative steps to better our service,” wrote Medary in Texas Lawyer’s judicial candidate questionnaire.
She has served as the judge of the 347th District Court for more than eight years, and since 2015, has also served as the regional presiding judge of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region.
Medary wrote that Williams’ conduct was an embarrassment to the judiciary
“He is forbidden by law to sit as a visiting judge,” she wrote. “Why would anyone in our community want to have him on the bench again full-time?”
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.