What a friend we have in the Commission on Judicial Conduct
Judge William Bell resigned after he got in hot water over 45 charges of ethical misconduct, including telling an outside attorney that the defendant in a high-profile case of his "has a friend in me," and perjuring himself when he denied the comment -- which the lawyer had taped -- before the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

After which he dropped to the floor and did the alligator
Judge Jim Barr faced suspension for, among other things, engaging in a tug-of-war over a prisoner with a deputy and making crude remarks and gestures to the three female prosecutors he called his "all-babe" court, including curling his index finger to summon one, then joking, "I wanted to see if I could make you come with one finger."

Loose Lips

Diamond cut diamond
Talking to a New Yorker writer about the "Jewels of the Romanovs" exhibit, Lynn Wyatt said, "Peter the Great would fit right in here in Texas. He's my kind of man. In fact, he's just like my husband [oilman Oscar Wyatt]: He could do anything."

Plus an itty-bitty piece of cakeJudith Leiber, designer of $5,000 jeweled evening bags much loved by Houston socialites, told a local audience that their itty-bitty size was sufficient for a lady's basic necessities -- a hankie, a compact, lipstick and a $100 bill.

There goes her shot at the Chronicle's Best-Dressed List
Socialite and major clotheshorse Margaret Williams, whose luggage was lost for four days on a jaunt to Russia, told columnist Maxine Mesinger, "Well, it wasn't too bad, because we were in St. Petersburg, and we didn't know anyone there. So it was okay to wear the same suit for four days."

So was Hernando Cortes
During the mayoral runoff, a Rob Mosbacher Spanish-language radio commercial concluded with the line, "Mosbacher is our friend -- and he's so handsome!"

And the Sigmund Freud Memorial Award goes to...
The Wall Street Journal's right-wing editorialists referred to Houston affirmative-action critic Elizabeth Spates, who is black, as "Elizabeth Spades."

He'd just been reading his Wall Street Journal
When a student locked her keys in her car, Dickinson High band director Greg Goodman turned to a Hispanic colleague and asked, "Can you break into her car and get her keys out? You know, with your heritage and all."

Yeah, and inane politicians, too
On the topic of a smoking ban in Houston restaurants, City Councilman Rob Todd huffed, "The task of going after every carcinogen and every bit of poison in the air -- what are we going to do, ban mold spores?"

And if that doesn't work, we're turning him over to Charles Barkley
After a jury hit Robert Coulson with $25.6 million in damages for killing his family for insurance money, estate attorney Larry Doherty said, "We are ecstatic.... He's going to die broke and in the box. We're going to get his DNA out of the gene pool and have him thrown from the face of the Earth forever."

But telemarketing looked attractive, too
Houston-born movie star Randy Quaid told David Letterman that as a high schooler, hearing that John Wayne was in town shooting Hellfighters, "I called the hotel where he was staying. I said, 'This is John Wayne. Got any messages for me?' And they gave me his messages. That gave me a lot of confidence, and I started performing."

Judge Jim Barr sent a sympathy card
State Representative Al Edwards filed suit against a fired employee who had complained to the EEOC that he suggested she wear shorter skirts and called her "an ignorant heifer."

Al Edwards sent a sympathy card
Ardith Jackson charged that she was fired from a constable's office for calling a hearing-impaired colleague "a deaf bitch."

Richard Jewell has retained Joe Jamail and is suing for libel
Houston radio news anchor Chuck Shramek, linked by news wires to the Heaven's Gate cult suicides after he posted an Internet photo of a "Saturn-like thing" following the Hale-Bopp Comet, complained that "I can identify with how Richard Jewell felt."

Hook 'em, Ron
Urging Texas universities to set the same admission standards for athletes as for other students, state Representative Ron Wilson said, "I'm more concerned about educating students than I am about seeing folks with pompons and eating popcorn and throwing up all over themselves because they are drunk in a stadium."

To arms, Surfside!
Congressman Ron Paul told C-SPAN that he lived in fear of being "bombed by the federal government in another Waco."

Give me topless bars or give me death
During the battle over Houston's tightened ordinance for sexually oriented businesses, David Wasserman, a Florida lawyer for adult bookstores, opined that a "national cultural war is about to be fought in Houston, paid for by the citizens of Houston."

And as a prelude to any sexually oriented cultural wars, too
Due to a typo, January's referendum ballot said that City Council must hold "pubic hearings" before elections on certain tax matters.

And herself as "our resident bimbo"
During a bit of morning-news happy talk, Channel 2 anchor Dominique Sachse, who is white, referred to black weathercaster Orelon Sidney as "our resident monkey."

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