Former Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown of Killeen has filed an appeal of a court decision to have her removed from office.
Brown was stripped of her position Feb. 15 following a three-day trial, and a 90 minute jury discussion, after which it was ruled that Brown committed official misconduct, was grossly incompetent and had health issues and mental defects she didn’t have when elected that affected her job.
Dr. John Fabian, a forensic clinical psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist, testified during the trial that Brown has a mild neurological disorder that mainly affects her problem-solving, memory and executive function skills like making judgments, decision making and task execution, according to the FME News Service, which covered the trial.
“I’m not incompetent,” Brown, 80, told the Herald Wednesday. “I was not unfit to do the job, mentally or physically.”
Brown said she did not see the results of the evaluation until days after her trial, and claims they are filled with “bias(ed), bigoted, unscientific jargon.”
The petition to have Brown removed from office was filed Feb. 15, 2017, by attorney Brett Pritchard, who wanted Brown found guilty of incompetence and official misconduct.
The complaint stemmed from claims that Brown set excessive bonds, and used her office to promote private interests.
Brown was cited for misconduct in March 2017 after setting a $4 billion bond that she later admitted doing to prove a point about the justice system and high bonds.
In her appeal, Brown states she ran for election on the platform of lowering the numbers of incarcerated people that remain in jail because of bail amounts they cannot afford.
Brown’s appeal was filed March 12 in Austin. She will have to submit a legal fee, as well as turn in a supplemental statement, by Friday.
“I pray this Texas 3rd Court of Appeals will find that the order to remove me from office due to incompetence has not been proven, and official misconduct is to be considered double jeopardy because I was already cited by the Texas Judicial Conduct Commission for the same allegations,” Brown said in her appeal. “I pray the court will allow me to resign from office because of the unbearable work environment created by a handful of law enforcement workers and lawyers who colluded to have me removed from office.”
Brown is also seeking compensation for court costs and lost wages in the amount of $100,000.
The appeal was filed through the office of County Attorney James Nichols, who led the prosecution in Brown’s trial.
Nichols was not immediately available for questions Thursday.