Corruption | KERA News


Oral arguments for Dallas Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill are scheduled April 29 before U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. In 2010 Hill was sentenced to 18 years in prison for extortion and bribery in a Dallas City Hall corruption case. Appeals hearings are also scheduled on the same date for Hill's wife and others convicted for their involvement.

Texas is one of just six states that select all of its judges in partisan elections.  Critics say that creates conflicts of interest and politics becomes more important than qualifications.  In the third part of “Texas Judges: Out of Order,” we look at the pros and cons of the way Texas selects judges and some alternatives.

Scott* / (cc) flickr

Complaints about Texas judges are usually handled in secret and rarely lead to punishment. That’s what state lawmakers heard when they met to review the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct, the agency that disciplines judges.

Scott* / (cc) flickr

The State Integrity Investigation on government corruption gives Texas an average grade of C for holding our judges accountable. But some citizens and lawmakers who’ve tested the system say that grade is far too high.

Texas ranks in the bottom half of all states for being vulnerable to corruption. That’s one of the findings of the extensive State Integrity Investigation that was recently released. It gave Texas a grade of D+.