Bill Henderson: County Judge's Legal Counsel Allegedly Goes Rambo When Car Towed

Getting your car towed is an aggravating experience, to be sure.

It's perhaps more aggravating if you're a former state district judge and current legal counsel to County Judge Ed Emmett -- in other words, a person who's used to not having to deal with the petty annoyances that afflict the not-politically-connected of our society.

So maybe it's understandable that Bill Henderson, according to court documents, used his car to hit an employee as he tried to exit the storage lot without paying. Then again, maybe it isn't.

The documents show Henderson has been charged with deadly conduct for striking a woman with his car. He's out on bond.

His vehicle had been one of many towed from a CityCentre lot, near the Beltway and Katy Freeway.

It was taken to a lot not far from there, and Henderson went to retrieve it.

According to KTRK, Henderson went into the yard without stopping to pay at the office. got in his car and went for the exit. He "appeared to be pretty upset and very irrational," the lot owner said.

The employee tried to stop him and Henderson's car clipped her knee; she was treated and released from a hospital.

Emmett spokesman Joe Stinebaker told the Houston Chronicle, however, that Henderson said he was not driving the car at the time.

"His version differs widely from the version we've heard reported," Stinebaker said.

Stinebaker told Hair Balls this morning:

Essentially, the judge is viewing this as a misdemeanor legal issue that occurred to one of his employees on the employee's own time. It was not job-related, and it doesn't impede the employee's ability to perform his job functions. So this one will be resolved in the most appropriate venue -- the courts.

In this year's State of the County address, Emmett noted that county government had experienced some ethics problems.

"Whatever it takes, Harris County must find a way to prevent unethical behavior as much as possible and to establish clear channels for uncovering and reporting such behavior when it occurs."

Emmett's Web site says Henderson "advises Emmett on a myriad of legal issues, including those involving federal and state law and county policy."

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