WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - CORRECTION (7.14): A court of inquiry hearing into Judge Gossom’s conduct has been filed through the Texas Supreme Court. The court has no investigatory role. The original article stated that they did.
The Texas Supreme Court has appointed a judge to oversee a court of inquiry hearing for Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom. The filing, made by 78th District Court Judge Bernard Fudge, claims that Judge Gossom received a state salary bonus without fulfilling the necessary judicial functions that go with it.
Judge Gossom says that all he has received right now is the notice from Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht saying this investigation is underway. The criminal act in question is whether or not 40% of the functions Judge Gossom performs are judicial functions.
Currently, only the amended minutes from the 78th district court that are signed by Judge Fudge, and the letters stating the request through the state supreme court have been made available. The amended minutes state that the records for this case are to be sealed until further order of the court, or a court of competent jurisdiction.
After the commissioners court meeting this morning, Judge Gossom received the review done last year by the legislative budget board, which he says can’t clarify whether that 40% of judicial function needs to be based off total time or total duties.
“He focused on some report, something that raised his mind, that I was not doing the appropriate amount of judicial time to earn the supplement from the state," said Gossom. "The law deals with with judicial duties begin 40%, not your time.”
“Somebody said to me ‘does the budgeting count when you do that for the courts?’ Well I don’t know, and this document doesn’t know," said Gossom.
Chief Justice Hecht has assigned a judge to the case, who will begin the process of gathering evidence. Until then, Judge Gossom says all he can do is wait.