McKinney (CBSDFW.COM) – Collin County Judge Suzanne H. Wooten has been suspended by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct following her indictment on criminal charges last week.
Wooten and three others are accused of funneling money to her 2008 political campaign in exchange for favorable rulings in her court. There are seven counts of bribery, including Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.
In a written response to the Commission, Wooten’s attorney, Peter Schulte says “Judge Wooten accepts the Commission’s decision and has immediately ceased acting in the capacity of Judge of the 380th Judicial District Court.”
But supporters of Judge Wooten gathered in a courtroom this morning before the judge arrived. Upon her arrival she as given a standing ovation. Wooten’s supporters say the investigation is a political vendetta by the Collin County District Attorney’s office that began in the days after her successful campaign for the bench.
“They have their favorites. She’s not one of their favorites” says Sharon Curtis, the President of the Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, who organized today’s show of support for the judge. “From reading the indictment, it sounds like it has lots of holes” says Curtis.
“And so we’re letting her know, and the community know, that people who are kind-of in-the-know, in her court every day, believe in her and don’t believe this (the allegations) happened” says Curtis.
Collin County District Attorney John Roach says he forwarded the investigation to the Texas Attorney General’s office on July 22, 2010, and he would not comment on the case or the show of support for the judge.
Wooten also would not comment. She has been suspended with pay. Visiting judges will hear cases in the 380th Judicial District Court until the criminal case is resolved.