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In an emotional plea Tuesday, Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal asked members of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to reverse his suspension and let him return to the Commissioners Court bench.
However, the commission does not expect to make a decision before its regular meeting session Aug. 10-12.
Chair Valerie Ertz said Doyal would be notified through his legal counsel. Tuesday’s hearing included seven of the 13 members of the commission.
The commission suspended Doyal June 28 after a Montgomery County grand jury indicted him on charges of conspiring to circumvent the Texas Open Meetings Act. The grand jury also indicted Precinct 2 Commissioner Charlie Riley, Precinct 4 Commissioner Jim Clark and political consultant Marc Davenport on the same charge.
High-profile Houston-based defense attorney Rusty Hardin, who is now representing Doyal, stressed that since Doyal does not perform judicial functions, the commission should reverse its decision.
“I do not think it is appropriate … for a nonjudicial officer to be suspended,” said Hardin, noting it is “more appropriate” for the issue to be left to the criminal process.
Doyal told the commission it is not within his authority to perform judiciary duties.
However, the commission said while he may not be performing those duties, it does fall within the scope of his position and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the commission.