|Houston White Collar Criminal Defense Lawyer Rusty Hardin quoted in The Texas Tribune article |
State Bar Seeks Disciplinary Action Against Anderson
|October 19, 2012 11:52 pm|
The Texas Tribune:
On the one-year anniversary of Michael Morton's release from prison, the State Bar of Texas filed a disciplinary case against the prosecutor who secured his wrongful murder conviction. The lawyer oversight agency alleges that former Williamson County District Attorney Ken Anderson — now a state district judge — deliberately withheld evidence and made false statements to the court during Morton's 1987 trial.
Anderson, who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Rick Perry in 2002 and who the State Bar named "Prosecutor of the Year" in 1995, is facing civil and criminal legal action and could be disbarred if he is found to have violated professional rules of conductin securing the wrongful conviction. Morton was sentenced to life and spent nearly 25 years in prison for the August 1986 murder of his wife Christine Morton.
Anderson has said that he regrets the errors of the justice system in Morton's case. But he has maintained that he committed no wrongdoing in the prosecution. His attorney, Eric Nichols, said that Anderson disagrees with the positions taken and the allegations made by the state bar disciplinary counsel.
Simultaneous with the civil court case against him, Anderson will also face a court of inquiry, a rare criminal proceeding that could lead to charges against him for contempt of court and tampering with evidence.
Tarrant County State District Judge Louis Sturns is presiding over that case, and has appointed famed defense lawyer and former prosecutor Rusty Hardin as special prosecutor. A pretrial hearing is set for Oct. 30 in that case, and the inquiry is set to begin on Dec. 10.
Hardin declined to comment on the State Bar's decision but said the civil action would not affect the schedule of the court of inquiry.
"I don't anticipate it will have any effect on our proceeding at all," he said.
© 2012 The Texas Tribune
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