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HomeBREAKING NEWSTexas Ethics Commission dismisses political video complaint against Judge Doyal

Texas Ethics Commission dismisses political video complaint against Judge Doyal

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Judge: allegation by local resident was “baseless smear”

CONROE (Oct. 4, 2018) – The Texas Ethics Commission has cleared County Judge Craig Doyal from an ethics complaint filed over a political video filmed in Judge Doyal’s office in May 2017.

Judge Doyal said he appreciates the commission’s investigation and actions that have finally cleared his name of a baseless political smear.

“I am thankful the ethics commission did a thorough investigation and determined there were no grounds to this baseless complaint,” the judge said.

The judge said depictions of elected officials in their offices have been part and parcel of running for political office for decades; numerous elected officials, from the local level to statewide elective office, have utilized photographs of themselves in their official offices in campaign communications.

“This complaint was another frivolous attempt by political enemies to smear my good name. It was made by the same people who have been attempting to smear other solid Republican elected officials in this county, including GOP County Chairman Dr. Walter Wilkerson.”

The ethics complaint was filed by Kelli Cook, who likewise has joined in with others to attack Dr. Wilkerson.

“These same tactics are being deployed right now by Democrats at the national level.”

“It is high time that local Republicans reject these political smear campaigns, whether they come from the right or the left.”

Last June 2017 the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office decided against filing any criminal charges against County Judge Craig Doyal or even to present those claims to a grand jury regarding the political video.

According to Texas Election Code, Section 255.003, an officer or employee of a political subdivision may not spend or authorize the spending of public funds for a communication describing a measure if the communication contains information that is sufficiently substantial and important as to be reasonably likely to influence a voter. A violation of the section is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a possible fine not to exceed $4,000.

However, at the end of a Sheriff’s Department investigation of the matter last year, Tyler Dunman, chief of the District Attorney’s special crimes unit, told The Courier newspaper that statute does not apply.

“None of those statutes apply to merely using Montgomery County office space to record a political advertisement without using county recording equipment, working on county time, or depleting any county resource,” Dunman told The Courier.

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