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Official Misconduct

Suspended County Judge to Remain Highest Paid Official in Aransas County

Suspended Aransas County Court-at-Law Judge William Adams will get a slight pay cut but he'll remain the county's highest-paid elected official under the county's proposed 2013 budget.

Adams has been on paid suspension since November 22 when the Texas Supreme Court ordered his suspension after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct launched an investigation into a video of him beating his then-16-year-old daughter with a belt.

Warning: This Video Contains Violence and Abusive Language From Both the Judge and His Wife that You May Find Offensive

The video which was first  published in 2004 on YouTube, sparked outrage directed at the Aransas county government.

In the video, the judge used a leather belt to punish his teenage daughter for using the internet to acquire music and games that were unavailable for legal purchase at the time.

His 16-Year-Old daughter posted the video of her father's abuse online. She has suffered from ataxic cerebral palsy since birth and has a passion for technology.

County Commissioners Helpless

Under Texas law, county commissioners have no choice but to allow the elected judge to remain in office, drawing his salary, until the judicial conduct commission concludes its probe.

The Aransas County budget for 2013 does drop Adams's total annual pay to $144,000, a 1.6 percent decrease from 2012. Other elected officials in the county will receive the countywide 2 percent cost-of-living increase in 2013.

Since his suspension, Adams has been paid more than $110,000. When the state commission completes its investigation, it may recommend sanctions against Adams which could range from a censure to a recommendation to the Supreme Court that he be removed from the bench, a punishment seldom used.

It is typical for judges in Texas to receive pay while on suspension because they hold elected offices at the will of voters. Adams's seat is up for election in 2014.

Posted 10-01-12

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