Judge tosses out petition seeking removal of county judge
by Joe Baker
Nov 16, 2012 | 2541 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KARNES CITY – District Judge David Peeples has dismissed a petition brought forward by County Attorney Robert Busselman filed on behalf of the State of Texas seeking the removal from office of Karnes County Judge Barbara Shaw.

Busselman said Judge Peeples didn't list any specific reasons for dismissing the petition, but has dismissed it "without prejudice" meaning that the petition may or may not be brought forward again at a future date.

"The judge did not grant us permission to go forward," Busselman said. "I am disappointed. I hope to find out why it was not done, because it should have been done. We need to get rid of Barbara."

Busselman said he needs to time to research what his options may be at this point in order to continue with the effort to remove the county judge from office.

"I'm not throwing in the towel," Busselman said. "I don't know how to do that."

"I just need to think about it for a while."

The petition was filed with the district clerk's office on Tuesday, Nov. 13.

Busselman claimed in the petition that Shaw should be removed from office because she failed to perform her statutory duties, violated the judicial canons and interfered with the duties of the county attorney by refusing to work with Betty Yarter, who Busselman appointed as assistant county attorney.

Furthermore Busselman alleged that Shaw abused her judicial authority by issuing a Show Cause order to the county attorney and moving forward with subsequent legal proceedings accusing the county attorney of constructive contempt. The petition claims that by utilizing outside legal counsel, the duties of the of the county attorney were improperly and illegally usurped.

The petition also alleged Shaw violated the Texas Open Meetings Act and changed the budget of the county attorney's office in an effort to interfere with the duties and authority of the county attorney.

In the form of a requested temporary injunction, the petition asked the court to immediately suspend Shaw from office and appoint County Commissioner James Rosales to assume the duties of the office of county judge until the case is heard in court. The request for temporary injunction asked the court to restrain Shaw from going to any county offices, retrieving or altering any county records or communicating with any county employee, except as allowed by subpoena or court order.

The petition concluded by asking the court to, after a trial by jury, enter a judgment permanently removing Shaw from office and grant any other relief that may be justified.

The petition and attached documents are detailed and lengthy. See next week's issue of The Karnes Countywide for a more detailed report on this developing and ongoing story.

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