The Comal County district judge who said his faith led him to intervene in jury deliberations during a felony trial earlier this year said he so far has had no reprimands or admonitions from a state commission that monitors judicial conduct.
Judge Jack Robison of the 207th state district said he self-reported his conduct to the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct shortly after the Jan. 12 conclusion of the trial.
He has received no discipline from the commission, Robison said.
“The judicial conduct folks are pretty busy,” he said, before admitting his wrongdoing. “I shouldn’t have talked to the jury.”
Back in January, Robison presided over a trial against Gloria Elizabeth Romero Perez, who was on trial for continuous traffic of a person and sale or purchase of a child. After both sides rested and closed, jurors deliberated.
At the end of their deliberations, they sent out a note telling the court that they had come to a decision.
Robison then went into the jury room and admonished the panel on what he thought would be an unjust guilty verdict.
Jurors later delivered their split decision, finding Romero Perez guilty of continuously trafficking the girl and not guilty on the other charge.
After hearing the verdict, Robison recused himself from the case, saying his faith led him to do the things he did.
“Thank you for your understanding,” Robison told the jury Jan. 12 as he left the bench. “I apologize to you folks, but when God tells me I gotta do something, I gotta do it.”
District Judge Gary Steel replaced Robison for the punishment phase of the trial. Jurors sentenced Romero Perez to 25 years in prison.
Days later, Daniel Palmitier, a Comal County assistant district attorney, said he filed a complaint against Robison with the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Palmitier said reporting Robison was his ethical responsibility.
On Friday, Robison said he told attorneys in the case that he would alert the commission, and did so quickly after the trial ended.
“I did report it myself,” he said. “I told them that day I was going to report it. I did something wrong. I shouldn’t have done it.”
Also following the trial, Executive Director Eric Vinson of the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct said complaints filed with the commission are kept confidential. He said that if misconduct is discovered, the commission disciplines judges, and most instances of discipline are kept private, as well.
A judge, however, could face public admonition, public warning or public reprimand, as well as removal from the bench, which is very rare, Vinson said in January.
He could not be reached Friday for comment.
Robison received a private reprimand in 2011 following his jailing of a man who called him a fool in 2009 in a public restroom.