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San Jacinto Co. judge indicted in alleged break-in of county clerk’s office

A judge in San Jacinto County has been indicted in an alleged break-in of a county clerk’s office last year.

Judge John Lovett Jr. was arrested Monday following the grand jury indictment in a felony burglary case that allegedly took place at County Clerk Dawn Wright’s office.

In July 2017, the elected official told Eyewitness News he entered Wright’s office with a master key after hours with no employees present.

The entry  set off an alarm and triggered a response from law enforcement. Lovett told responding deputies he was the one who entered the property.

At the time, sheriff’s deputies were exploring whether Lovett had the legal authority to enter the premises. However, Wright said she considered the entry a break-in.

“No one else should be able to come into my office other than me or my staff. I can confirm that it was broken into because there is proof of my file stamp being used,” said Wright. “As an elected official, I’m not very happy about what’s been going on, but with the ongoing investigation I wish not to make any comments.”

After the incident Lovett dismissed the controversy as small town politics at their worst, making no apologies. When asked whether he had the right to enter the office after hours, Lovett said “yes.”

“The clerk of the court is subservient to the court. If I need to go into the office of the court, I think I have every right to do so,” said Lovett. “The sheriff’s office is investigating the alarm call. I don’t believe they are investigating any crimes. I don’t believe there was any crime committed. The clerk said she’s disappointed in me, but I’m likewise disappointed in her. The clerk’s office exists to serve the court and the court needed her. She’s being derelict in her duty to not only the court but to our taxpayers and our citizens.”

Lovett has been charged with burglary and tampering with government records, both felony counts, and a misdemeanor forgery charge.

 

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