One Of Our Turkeys Of The Year Might Be Impeached

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

A state rep from Fort Worth has called for the impeachment of Sharon Keller, the chief justice of the Criminal Court of Appeals.

Rep. Lon Burnam wants her taken to task for the infamous incident in 2007 where she closed the court's offices sharply at 5 pm, even though a lawyer for a Death Row inmate had asked for 20 extra minutes to file an appeal based on a ruling that had come down earlier that day.

(Actually, if you click on the above link to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, you could make the case Keller should be tried for hideous taste in lipstick color.)

Burnam has said he filed the impeachment bill -- which he acknowledges has little chance of success -- because he got nowhere with the state Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Houston Press readers, of course, know that Keller's actions weren't surprising.

As we pointed out when we gave her one of our coveted Turkey of the Year awards in 2007, getting turned down for extra time seems to be a family trait.

Keller comes from the family behind Keller's Drive-In, a Dallas institution much like a Sonic, but with beer.

We found out that the Drive-In is run much like the courts.

We called the Drive-In two nights running, ten minutes before they closed, trying to see if they'd take a late order. Both times the phone line was busy for the entire ten minutes.

We called the next day as soon as they opened.

Keller's: Keller's.

Houston Press: Yeah, hi. I was trying to see if this number actually worked, because the last two nights I called for like ten to 15 minutes and it was always busy.

K: Sir, this is the only business line we have and it's just sometimes, it's really busy. I don't know, I wasn't here last night, but this is the correct number.

HP: All right. And what time do you close?

K: On the weeknights they close at 11:30.

HP: Okay, so I can call at like 11:20 or so and come pick up something?

K: I would take it until at least 11:15; that would be the latest I would call.

HP: 11:15? But what if it was a matter of life or death?

K: See, sometimes if it's -- Are you calling for a food order?

HP: Yeah.

K: So it's a matter of life and death over a food order?

HP: Well, you know, sometimes you really need that burger.

K: Well, sometimes -- I'm going to tell you now, the winter months are coming and if it's cold at night and there's no business, they do close early at times.

HP: Ah, good to know. Thanks!

So remember, whether you want a chili dog or to be saved from execution, keep your eye on the clock when you're dealing with a Keller.

-- Richard Connelly

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.