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J. Kent Adams: JP's Bench Style Offensive to an Impressive List of Minorities, Conduct Commission Says

J. Kent Adams, fighting allegations.
J. Kent Adams, fighting allegations.

Justice of the Peace J. Kent Adams, whose precinct is in Spring, as been admonished by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for a string of statements offensive to various ethnicities, according to reports.

The SCJC hasn't listed the reported "public admonishment" on its website, and the only person allowed to talk to the media isn't available, so we'll take the word of the Houston Chronicle and KTRK for now. Adams, for his part, says he is appealing the action and that it should not be public at this point.

According to the reported admonishment, here are the minorities and ethnicities and the alleged quotes by Adams:

Hispanics -- Asking a female defendant whether she had "six or seven kids."

Pakistani -- Telling a mother her son should be "stoned to death."

Asians -- He told one Asian-American attorney, "Boy, these records are none of your goddamn business."

Black -- He asked one African-American female defendant "if she was on welfare and expected the government to pay her fine."

White -- Nothing so far.

Adams issued a lengthy statement in response to the reports, noting that "it is inevitable that some people in the court will be unhappy with the result of their own case":

I have seen a newspaper account reporting on a matter pending before the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Matters pending before that Commission are required by law to remain confidential until all parties have had their an opportunity to be heard and a final decision is issued. The Commission is not a court of law and it cannot make judicial rulings or findings, and it cannot review the rulings of a judge or consider appeals of cases handled in Texas courts such as mine.

Having presided over a court through which more than 1 million cases have passed since I became the judge, it is inevitable that some people in the court will be unhappy with the result of their own case, and from time to time will make a complaint. These complaints are different from an appeal of a judgment of this court, which must be taken to the Harris County Court at Law.

I cannot comment on the details of the story, without violating the confidentiality rules of the Commission. It is unclear to me how or why the person quoted in the newspaper story got his information or why he thought he was not bound by the same confidentiality rules. I choose to respect the rules.

Since taking the bench, I have always striven to discharge my oath of office, and to carry out my duties as Justice of the Peace, with a clear focus on the law, and to pay close attention to making sure all who appear before my court are treated fairly and consistent with the law."


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