Attorney General Ken Paxton again fails to kick judge off criminal case
AUSTIN — Attorney General Ken Paxton has once again failed to remove the judge presiding over his criminal case.
On Thursday morning, Paxton's attorneys were told their latest request that Judge George Gallagher be forced to step down could not be honored. Why? The court they asked does not have the authority to make this decision.
"The undersigned does not have that power," Judge Mary Murphy, presiding judge in the First Administrative Judicial Region, wrote in an email. The decision, she said, lies with "the trial court and the appellate courts."
This week, Paxton requested she remove Gallagher, whom Murphy assigned to the case in August 2015. Paxton's attorneys argued that Gallagher was on loan to the administrative court region that included Collin County when Murphy assigned him to the case and that his assignment expired in 2016. They said any decisions made this year — including a rare ruling to move the trial venue from Collin to Harris County — were therefore null and void.