Justice Jim Sharp of the 1st Court of Appeals is a guy who doesn't mince words, it's safe to say.
He's dealing with the fallout of all that, as the State Commission on Judicial Conduct has hit him with a public reprimand for his actions in connection with a January arrest of a friend's daughter in Brazoria County.
The 15-year-old had been charged with shoplifting -- a bra and jeans, mostly -- but because the value of merchandise involved was slightly higher than $150, county policy called for her to spend the night in jail.
That didn't sit well with Sharp, a Democrat who started making calls, leaving voice-mails (not smart, evidence-wise) and trotting out an extensive vocabulary belittling county officials who he called "backwoods hillbillies."
Let's examine some of his gems, courtesy of court documents.
5. "You have picked the wrong little girl that has friends in high places to mess with." Fairly mild, in terms of the actual words chosen. But going with the "friends in high places" card is just too obvious. What's happened to subtlety when threatening backwoods hillbillies, for crying out loud?
4. One official Sharp was forced to deal with was "the most arrogant little prick [he] had ever talked to in [his] life." Can a little prick be arrogant? We guess size doesn't matter.
3. If he met that prick in person, "and if Justice Sharp had been in possession of a 'baseball bat...that son of a bitch would have been cracked upside the head. Fucking little cocksucker.'" Again with the little in regards to male genitalia. We're starting to think there's some kind of complex going on. Good move by the judge, though, leaving this message on voice-mail and text, so it could be preserved for further judicial hearings.
2. A quote: "Brazoria County Juvie Folks are [not] just arrogant but ignorant. When an Appeals Court Justice calls and identifies himself and then they refer to me as 'Mr.' Sharp, it bespeaks a fundamental misunderstanding of respect and pecking order!" Ahhh -- lay back and wallow in the hilarity that is someone accusing another person of being arrogant because they call a judge "mister" instead of "justice." It bespeaks something, we agree. 1. Another quote: "[S]ome county paycheck functionary...call[ing] me 'rude' also is totally unacceptable and that stupid asshole need find [a] new job that has him communicating with appellate court justices. Had I been there personally, it would have been damn ugly for him." You're never rude if you call someone a "stupid asshole." If, that is, you are an appellate court judge at the time.
The commission found that Sharp "persistently used his position and authority as an appellate judge to pressure, intimidate and/or coerce Juvenile Detention employees into giving his friend's daughter special treatment."
It found his behavior to be "inappropriate and unseemly" and said it "fell far below minimum standards of judicial conduct and clearly cast public discredit upon the judiciary."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Sharp has issued a public apology through local attorney Brian Wice, who's acting as his spokesman in the incident:
When a young girl who could have been anyone's child was jailed overnight simply because of Brazoria County policy, I let my heart overrule my head, and for that I apologize. Having learned a valuable lesson, I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the First Judicial District of Texas.
Even those little-prick fucking cocksucker backwoods hillbillies in Brazoria County, we assume.