Judge not……I wrote last week about wannabe judge and fired Assistant District Attorney Mike Elliott who didn’t sign up to run until after filing reopened and when he realized he could trade on the name of another Fort Bend County judge, Brady Elliott. Mike was one of the few assistant district attorneys ever fired by DA John Healey who waited far longer than anybody wanted him to fire Mike. Many people had been urging Healey to fire Mike for a couple of years, but it was only after a severe breach of trust that he did so.
After my column, I received several complaints about Mike Elliott’s actions in a recent trial. The complaint was that Elliot, representing a defendant in Judge Jim Shoemake’s court, was campaigning in the court, showing his campaign literature on an overhead projector in the courtroom.
I could hardly believe it. A sitting judge letting a lawyer campaign for a political office during a trial! But it was pointed out to me that Judge Shoemake’s wife works for Mike Elliott’s wife who is the District Clerk.
So I called Judge Shoemake, and he explained that Elliott did show his campaign literature on the overhead during voir dire to ask the jury panel it anyone in there knew him or had anything against him. Voir dire is during jury selection and it is when the jury panel is questioned to see if anyone has a bias either against the attorney or the defendant.
Judge Shoemake said he thought it was okay for Elliott to do this in case anyone on the jury panel knew something about the campaign and was biased. Judge Shoemake said he told Mike Elliott that he was “cutting it pretty close.”
According to lawyer friends of mine, it was more than cutting it pretty close. They said that all Elliot had to do was stand up and say, “ Does anyone here know me? Does anyone here know my opponent Brenda Mullinix?” He didn’t have to make such a big deal out of it and show his literature, according to them, who also expressed disappointment in Judge Shoemake for letting him get away with the dog and pony show.
It didn’t do him much good as I heard his client got hosed for 45 years.
Other comments I’ve heard is that Mike Elliott is copying Brady Elliott’s sign motif. This probably won’t do him much good either.
By the way, Judge Shoemake has a Democratic opponent, Teana Watson, a lovely lady lawyer with years of experience. (This information included for those of you who can stand to vote on the Democratic side of the ticket during the General election.)