State Commission on Judicial Conduct issues public reprimand to South Plains judge

State Commission on Judicial Conduct issues public reprimand to South Plains judge

DAWSON COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has issued a public reprimand to Judge Carter Schildknecht, the highest sanction the commission can vote to give a judge without formal proceedings.

This decision comes after the commission reviewed allegations made by former 106th Judicial District Attorney Michael Munk that Judge Schildknecht failed to be patient, dignified and courteous, a violation of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct.

According to the reprimand, Judge Schildknecht criticized Munk multiple times during hearings in December of 2016.

At one point saying in part, "..our present district attorney, who fortunately, will only be in office for another couple of weeks, has chosen to cancel grand juries all over the district since he was defeated in May."

According to the commission, Judge Schildknecht said, "Although my comments were the truth, perhaps it was not courteous to bluntly tell why the accused had not had their cases timely brought before a grand jury."

The public reprimand states the commission took action in a continuing effort to produce public confidence in the judicial system.

The KCBD Investigates Team reported when the commission previously issued Judge Schildknecht a public admonition with an order of additional education in part, for referring to Munk as a "New York Jew."

Munk told the KCBD Investigates team he believes bias in her courtroom affected justice.

In response, Judge Schildknecht said, "I may be too blunt, but it is not biased or prejudiced against New Yorkers or Jews."

A public reprimand means Judge Schildknecht is prohibited from sitting as a visiting judge when she retires.

The KCBD Investigates team did call the judge's office and leave a message.

We have not heard back at this time.

Judges have 30 days to give notice of appeal of any sanction. Judge Schildknecht's sanction was issued August 22, 2017.


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