The Texas Tribune reports that Ken Anderson, state District Judge for Williamson County, has resigned from his job. Anderson is the former Texas prosecutor who shot to fame for his role in the wrongful conviction of an innocent man, Michael Morton. Anderson allegedly withheld evidence in the case that pointed to Morton’s innocence, and then lied about it to a judge.
In an unprecedented move, Texas held a Court of Inquiry into Anderson’s conduct which resulted in his criminal arrest. Anderson was charged with tampering with government records and physical evidence, and failing to comply with a judge’s order to turn over evidence. The Texas State Bar has also initiated a disciplinary case against the sitting judge in civil court.
Posting a copy of Anderson’s resignation letter on their site, the Tribune reports that Anderson made no reference to the Morton case in a public statement about his resignation. The statement said,“There comes a time when every public official must decide that it is time to leave public life,” Anderson said in the statement released by his lawyer, Eric Nichols. “For me and my family, that time is now.”
Anderson’s civil trial is scheduled to begin next Monday, September 30.
Update: Anderson’s trial has been delayed until November. Read more here.
An excellent editorial by The Dallas Morning News supports State Sen. Rodney Ellis’ suggestion that Williamson County should examine cases that Anderson prosecuted to ensure there weren’t other miscarriages of justice. The editorial notes, “Considering that a similar review process in Dallas County has cleared 24 wrongfully convicted men, Ellis’ recommendation makes good sense. One of the Dallas County exonerees, Christopher Scott, was our other 2012 Texan of the Year.”
Read the editorial HERE.