Texas Judge Indicted on Misuse of Powers Charges
GALVESTON (CN) - A Texas judge has been indicted on criminal charges that he repeatedly misused his official powers to retaliate against attorneys appearing before him and other officials.
Galveston County Court at Law Judge Christopher Dupuy was charged Wednesday with two felony counts of obstruction or retaliation, two misdemeanor counts of official oppression and four misdemeanor counts of abuse of official capacity, the Houston Chronicle reported .
If Dupuy is convicted on any of the criminal counts, he will be removed from the bench. He was arrested at 3 p.m. and posted $19,000 in bail hours later, according to Galveston County sheriff's spokesman Ray Tuttoilmondo.
Hours earlier, attorney Greg Hughes filed civil suit against Dupuy, asking for his removal from office and accusing him of incompetence and oppression. Dupuy failed to obey an order from a state court of appeals, threatened the district clerk while attempting to interfere in his divorce case and retaliated against attorneys by abusing his power, the complaint states.
"He has ruined dozens of lives over the last two years with ridicules, horrible rulings he has made," Hughes told the Chronicle.
Also on Wednesday, Dupuy's ex-wife, Adrienne Viterna, filed for an emergency protective order in the wake of an affidavit taken Monday from Dupuy's former fiance. Tara Compton stated the judge intended to kill Viterna and flee with their two children to New Zealand, the Chronicle reported. Compton is scheduled to testify Friday in a hearing on the protective order.In one case, Dupuy is accused of official oppression against attorney Lori Laird, who represents his ex-wife in a custody dispute over their children. Laird said he retaliated against her trying to record his testimony during a deposition by driving to the courthouse, drawing up a contempt order against her and giving her 120 days in jail. Laird then appealed and the contempt order was tossed.