WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Wichita County Commissioners have decided the county will pay the bill for legal representation for Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom during his court of inquiry proceedings.
Following a closed-door meeting Monday morning, during which Judge Gossom recused himself, commissioners voted unanimously to retain and pay for his legal counsel, which will be Jim Allison of Allison, Bass, and Magee of Austin. Allison is General Counsel for the County Judges & Commissioners Association of Texas.
This stems from allegations of misconduct filed by 78th District Judge Barney Fudge, related to whether it was appropriate for Judge Gossom to request or accept a state salary supplement for time spent on judicial matters.
Gossom says he’s following the requirements of the amount of his duties he devotes to judicial matters to receive the salary supplement from the state.
In explaining the decision to pay the legal costs, the commissioners announced that filing for the supplement was taken in good faith and was part of the judge’s duties.
The motion also said since a court of inquiry could lead to criminal charges, expending county funds for the defense is allowed.
While the district attorney’s office is authorized to represent the county in legal matters involving the county, Wichita County District Attorney John Gillespie said he had notified Senior Administrative Judge David Peeples of San Antonio about this case and was told the district attorney’s office was disqualified from involvement.