D.A. & Judge Spit Fire in Texas

     DALLAS (CN) – A Collin County judge and three others have been indicted on bribery charges related to her 2008 campaign. The Dallas Morning News called it “the latest in a feud between the first-term jurist and Collin County’s district attorney.”

     Judge Suzanne Wooten, Her campaign manager James Stephen Spencer, David Cary and Stacy Stine Cary each face six counts of bribery and one count of engaging in organized criminal activity, the Morning News reported over the weekend.
     The bribery charges are second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison; engaging in organized criminal activity is a first-degree felony punishable by up to life in prison.
     According to the indictments, the Carys are accused of giving Spencer up to $150,000 to fund Wooten’s campaign in exchange for favorable rulings in her court. The indictments describe six payments, ranging from $10,000 to $50,000, that allegedly were paid from Jan. 4, 2008, to March 14, 2008.
     Wooten’s attorney Peter Schulte told the Morning News that the judge does not know the Carys and has not presided over any cases involving them.
     Schulte called the indictments “completely ridiculous” and said they were part of a political vendetta that Collin County District Attorney John Roach has waged against his client.
     “Judge Wooten has done nothing wrong,” Schulte said. “I’m confident we’ll beat these charges in court.”
     Keith Gore, representing the Carys, told the newspaper that the case is “a politically motivated witch hunt.”
     “David and Stacy Cary are innocent victims of a politically motivated prosecution and look forward to their day in court to clear their good names,” Gore said.
     Wooten defeated longtime incumbent Judge Charles Sandoval in the Republican primary in 2008. Roach, the district attorney, is also a Republican.
     In July, Wooten alleged in court filings that Roach was intimidating and harassing her and that his office was seeking her resignation.
     The seat of Collin County, McKinney, is about 30 miles north of Dallas.

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