WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)— The Wichita County judge said he has no idea what led to a state inquiry into his conduct that is underway.
Judge Woody Gossom said he found out about the whole thing earlier in the week and slept well since finding out. He said he’ll sleep well again because he is confident he’s done nothing wrong.
KFDX crew members obtained a copy of a letter from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht dated July 9 stating 78th District Judge Barney Fudge requested the appointment of a district judge to commence a court of inquiry into Gossom’s conduct.
“I am going to say Judge Fudge did this because he has some good reason to do this, and we are all sworn as judges if we are aware of misconduct of a judicial officer, we are to report it,” Gossom said.
The letter does not specify what conduct is being investigated, though.
Gossom said he has heard, as others have, the inquiry could have something to do with the time he claims he performs as a judge with juvenile matters and probate.
“I’m not sure who’s making those summations,” Gossom said. “The law requires a judge to receive a supplement that 40% of your duties, not your time, are spent on judicial matters, I have all those duties I’m supposed to have. I fill in. Do I do a great deal of court time? No. Do I do mostly juvenile work? Yes, but, I still have jurisdiction to do probate. I’ve done very little of that. I have jurisdiction to do mental health. I do some of that. I sign papers on mental health almost weekly, have to review those documents. Is it a state stipend? Yes, It’s $25,200 dollars a year.”
Gossom said that plus his county salary of almost $99,000 a year and a juvenile board subsidy other judges and the DA receive make up his annual salary.
However, as far as what the inquiry’s really about.. He said he has no idea.
“The sad thing is I don’t know what the details are, so it’s a little hard to know what to say when you don’t know what the facts are,” Gossom said. “When do you think you’ll know more? That’s a good question. I’ll make an inquiry into Judge Hecht’s office about that and see if we can get something from him.”
From here, Gossom said the county will pay for legal representation.
“The county will hire an attorney, and I have talked to an attorney in Austin about this who is a good friend and very familiar with county government, and he is prepared to represent that,” Gossom said.
KFDX crew members also tried to obtain further information, but so far have been unsuccessful.
David Evans, the presiding judge of the 8th Administrative Judicial Region, voluntarily recused himself from acting on the request from Fudge, he referred it to Hecht.
The Chief Justice has assigned senior judge David Peeples to conduct the requested court of inquiry.