Texas Judge Elizabeth Coker allegedly sent private texts to a prosecutor during a trial she was presiding over, in order to help that attorney obtain a guilty verdict. Although Judge Coker has not admitted to these allegations, she signed a “VOLUNTARY AGREEMENT TO RESIGN FROM JUDICIAL OFFICE IN LIEU OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION” on Monday rather than face further sanction.
According to Coker’s agreement to resign, she allegedly texted then-Assistant District Attorney Kaycee Jones during a trial “to suggest questions for the prosecutor to ask during the trial;
to ensure that a witness was able to refresh his memory and
rehabilitate his testimony . . . and to discuss legal issues pertinent
to the case.” Despite Judge Coker’s alleged breach of judicial
impartiality, Jones was unsuccessful in obtaining a conviction.
This incident aside, Jones successfully defeated a longtime incumbent judge to join Judge Corker on the Texas bench. She was sworn into her new judicial role by Coker.
Judge Jones admitted to the texting allegations, acknowledged that
communicating secretly with a judge about a pending case was wrong, and apologized for her role in the incident.