Beverly Powell, candidate for Senate District 10 in Tarrant County, has had 8 different liens placed against her for unpaid taxes since 2003. According to tax lien documents, she owed over $20,000 in state and federal taxes. While on the Burleson ISD School Board she voted to raise the taxes of others, yet she wasn’t fully paying her own. This type of hypocrisy is a clear indication of the type of leadership she would provide, one which makes laws she believes she doesn’t have to follow. The residents of Senate District 10 deserve better.
Fort Worth is in a pension crisis, which in turn has the city looking at raising property taxes significantly this year. The pension crisis is at the heart of the proposed increase in property taxes. It would be an increase of over 2.8% this year compared to the prior year. However if your property had an increase in appraisal you’d see a compounded increase of that amount plus the tax increase. For instance if your property appraised for 10% more this year, you’d have a net increase of 12.8% (appraisal plus tax increase).
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks was recently sanctioned by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). The TEC stated in their Order and Agreed Resolution that they found “credible evidence of a violation of Section 255.003, Election Code.” They went on to state that Commissioner Brooks used “public funds for political advertising.”
The spotlight is on Kimberly Fitzpatrick, candidate for District Judge, once again, for violating the law. This time it is for illegally accepting $2,000 in campaign contributions from a corporation.
Last month Direct Action Texas filed a complaint on Fitzpatrick with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct concerning an illegal endorsement. We also filed a complaint on Probate Court Judge candidate Catherine Goodman, this time with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). Our complaint was affirmed, Goodman took an improper donation of $10,000 from a husband and wife. Then, just yesterday, we called attention to Patricia Cole, candidate for Probate Court Judge, for her reporting of a campaign contribution from a corporation. Now we have found that Kimberly Fitzpatrick has violated Texas Election Code 253.091 as well.
On her May 15 filing, Fitzpatrick lists an in-kind Contribution of $2,000 from Chamas Do Brazil, otherwise known as HLQ, Inc., a corporation. Section 253.094 of the Election Code lists this offense as a third-degree felony. Punishment for a felony of this type is 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Former Mayor and Attorney Kimberly Fitzpatrick did not know the law or ignored it. Either way, is this someone that should be the next Tarrant County District Court Judge for District 342? The District 342 Court handles civil cases with judgements that can reach up into the millions and higher. The judge for that court must be someone with integrity and an attention to detail, not someone who has come under legal scrutiny twice during her campaign.
We must hold our judges and judicial candidates to a higher standard. We must know that our judges have the utmost integrity and would not violate the law for financial gain, to win an election, or for any other reason. We must also know that our judges are knowledgeable. There is no room for error when people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line. Tarrant County deserves judges that take the time to study the law and not make potentially criminal mistakes. Tarrant County has a chance to choose on May 22nd. Choose wisely.
“All free men, when they form a social compact, have equal rights, and no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive separate public emoluments, or privileges, but in consideration of public services”. – Texas Constitution Article 1, Section 3.
Are we all equal or do different citizens enjoy special privileges and benefits? Our Constitution tells us that we are equal, but are we? Here is a story about how one person, an elected official, gets special privileges above and beyond the normal citizens and blatantly and obscenely abuses her power. To make things worse, this person is a sitting Judge in Tarrant County.
Judge Jacquelyn Wright, one of Tarrant County’s Justices of the Peace, is actively campaigning from her courtroom, which is a clear violation of ethics. She has campaign literature in her courtroom as well as inside her jury room. We have pictures of the flyers and nail files with her messaging (See them HERE, HERE, and HERE.), but there is no telling what she is saying from the bench.
As a taxpayer, YOU are paying for her campaign by paying for the facilities to distribute her materials. It is wholly improper for government buildings to be used to assist a campaign. Imagine walking up to a courthouse and seeing a big banner with the Judge’s name on it right as you go to vote, having county employees make campaign calls during work hours, or even using tax dollars to pay the postage for campaign mailers. It is a slippery slope when we allow government employees to engage in political activity.