Sunday, November 6, 2011

'Whatever you do, don't let them in the building..."

When the phone call came, the person on the other end of the line claimed to be a U.S. Justice Department official. He and a team of others were coming to Aransas County to investigate Judge William Adams for lashing his daughter with a belt 7 years ago.

Linda Garcia, the executive assistant to County Judge Burt Mills, who answered the phone, soon learned that the call was a hoax when she contacted the Justice Department.

“Whatever you do, don't let them in the building,” a federal official cautioned her.

“We've got some tight security going on,” said Judge Mills.

Ms. Garcia told newsmen that some callers confuse Judge Adams, who is a County Court-at-Law Judge, with her boss, County Judge Burt Mills. She and other county employees have been threatened directly, and Sheriff's Department officers are investigating the alleged offenses.

Some 4.3 million YouTube viewers watched Judge Adams lash his daughter for downloading pirated material from the internet last Friday. She was 16 years of age at the time. She is now 23.

Assault allegations are beyond the statute of limitations after 5 years, according to Texas law enforcement officials.

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct made a first-ever public announcement that the agency is investigating a sitting judge. Child Protective Services executives have announced that the judge is not hearing cases involving allegations of abuse until further notice. Judge Adams agreed to a voluntary two-week suspension from the bench last week.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

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