The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office has stopped investigating complaints against a county court at law judge, choosing instead to forward those complaints to the state attorney general’s office.

On Monday, Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady said his office a couple of weeks ago forwarded all complaints against Christopher Dupuy and would send any new complaints to the attorney general’s office as well.

Roady declined to comment on the number or nature of the complaints against Dupuy, who was elected judge of County Court at Law No. 3 in a 2010 Republican landslide.

Dupuy called the complaints politically based and baseless.

Dupuy has garnered attention for actions both before and after he took office. He was under a six-month probated suspension from the state bar when he ran for election. The bar found he committed professional misconduct.

Dupuy is also named in a $500,000 fraud and malpractice lawsuit that accused him of engaging in conduct that resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of damages against his own clients. A judge sanctioned Dupuy $7,500 in relation to that lawsuit, saying he filed motions solely for the purpose of delay and without evidence.

Dupuy has twice filed for bankruptcy, once in 2004, and again shortly after the sanction, but his last bankruptcy was dismissed in December on his request. Dupuy listed $299,772 as the amount owed to creditors, including attorney fees, credit card companies, four civil suits, two foreclosures, two repossessions and two student loans.

Earlier this month, Dupuy held an attorney in contempt in connection with motions she filed seeking to recuse the judge from her family law cases. The judge ultimately recused himself from one case but held her in contempt and wants an administrative judge to sentence her to 110 days in jail.

Complaint made public

Attorney Greg Enos said he sent a complaint to Roady’s office, saying Dupuy possibly abused his official capacity. Enos accused Dupuy of providing legal assistance to his fiancee, who was involved in child custody dispute.

Enos, who represents the father in the custody dispute, claimed his office received a fax from equipment from Dupuy’s office and that the judge might have used county equipment to help in the family law matter in violation of the state’s penal code related to abuse of official capacity.

Enos’ complaint was among those forwarded to the attorney general.

Roady said he decided to forward the complaints to the attorney general because Dupuy presides over one-third of the thousands of misdemeanor cases prosecuted by his office annually. The district attorney’s office would have to seek Dupuy’s recusal from hundreds of criminal cases if it were to continue investigating the allegations, Roady said.

“Doing so would cost thousands of tax dollars to hire visiting judges to handle Judge Dupuy’s criminal docket in the meantime,” Roady said.

Roady also will forward the complaints to avoid any appearance of impropriety or bias. It’s appropriate for an outside agency to assume the investigations and any subsequent prosecution that could become necessary, Roady said.

Dupuy: No merit to allegations

Many claims, rumors and allegations fail to have merit, Dupuy said.

“Yet all complaints, even the frivolous kind made by political adversaries, must be investigated prior to being dismissed,” Dupuy said. “So, even when someone lies or files a frivolous complaint, the DA is still forced to investigate it.”

Dupuy declined to say whether the state attorney general’s office has contacted him; however, Dupuy said Roady’s office likely concluded that the political shenanigans, originated from a few disgruntled people, have wasted too much of the district attorney’s time and budget.

“If it were otherwise, or if Mr. Roady did not have confidence in this court to perform its duties, Mr. Roady could have and would have taken other steps,” Dupuy said. “There’s a good reason the DA’s office chose not to continue their investigation into Mr. Enos’ baseless claim.”

Dupuy also blamed “the news” for using the word “investigation” to imply something sinister when the word is a “term of art” used to learn the truth, he said. Dupuy also accused “the media” of rarely printing follow-up stories or seeking to correct negative impressions it leaves with its readers, especially when the story involves politics or elected officials.

Contact reporter Chris Paschenko at 409-683-5241 or chris.paschenko@galvnews.com.

(10) comments

Randy Chapman

I wonder if "disbarred" and "removed from office" will be considered "terms of art"?

Chris Gimenez

We can always read the Police News and Houston Chronicle to find out what will be reported by the GCDN a day or two later. You'd think Mr. Graham would be a tad bit embarassed being upstaged by an out of town newspaper and some local rag but obviously not because it continues to happen day in and day out.

As for the D.A. that the GCDN simply adores, it looks like he's been running interference for Dupuy since they both plopped into office. Roady outsources to the OAG all the stuff that most D.A.'s would relish prosecuting and validating why they were elected. Not Roady. If it wears a badge or was elected he doesn't want to touch it with a ten foot pole.

Cindi Mayville

“Doing so would cost thousands of tax dollars to hire visiting judges to handle Judge Dupuy’s criminal docket in the meantime,” Roady said.

As a G-County tax payer, I would much rather have my tax dollars go towards THIS than paying this shyster's salary.
I just hope that state AG takes all of this seriously, as Dupuy apparently has Roady in his pocket as he never did. He needs to be taken off of the bench and disbarred without any recourse and/or ability to regain his law license.

Ellen Morrison

"The good reason" is cronyism.

Chris Gimenez

Roady is a politician first and a District Attorney somewhere after that. He believes that his office is first and foremost to go after the civilian (and often innocent) population of Galveston County but if you're law enforcement or an elected official then he ignores and ignores and ignores the evidence until even he can't ignore it any longer and then outsources the investigation and prosecution to the state.

You'd think that as the District Attorney of Galveston County he'd want to prove his fairness and equity in investigating and prosecuting ANYONE who may have broken the law. Not so, with the complicity of a newspaper that is unwilling to ask any serious questions about the myriad of flawed cases he's had to dismiss or had directed verdicts of acquittal or been accused of secreting evidence, Roady has proven he is utterly incapable of filling the shoes of his office.

Chris Gimenez

I'm beginning to feel like the GCDN should be recognizing my efforts to keep them in the game despite their efforts to throw the ball away.

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Galveston-judge-may-hurt-or-kill-someone-4290657.php

Either that or they should hire the reporter at the Chronicle who keeps scooping them.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Chris, I agree with you that if Jack Roady isn't able to ensure the people's work is done before the political work, perhaps he should look toward another vocation. On the other hand, I can see where there might be legitimate concerns about conflicts of interest and bias and partiality should his office lead the prosecution of this case. After all, his office has to present cases in Judge Dupuy's court, and based on some of the allegations against the judge, he seems to be one that holds grudges and isn't afraid to show it. I'm not sure that I'd want to see criminals go free just because the judge has an axe to grind with the prosecutor.

However, as you pointed out, this isn't an isolated instance. There just seems to be too many things happen during Roady's tenure to try to explain away. It certainly doesn't seem like we had this trend during Sistrunk's tenure. This could be apples to oranges, but at the high level, it doesn't look like it.

Assuming Roady wants another term, do you think he'll receive an opponent in next year's primary? If not, I don't see much chance for him to be voted out.

Chris Gimenez

Roady will have an opponent in the general election if not the primary. His problem with Dupuy is that he's been handed more and more credible evidence and he's tried to refer it to the State Bar or ignore it totally. It keeps coming back to his responsibility to do something and all he knows to do know is to bail and throw it to the OAG.

The bigger problem with Roady is that he seems to operate under a two different standards of evidence needed to investigate depending on whether you're an elected official or a civilian. In fact, I was told by another individual presenting evidence to him that Roady stated that it takes him much more evidence to investigate an elected official than it does an ordinary citizen. Based on my personal experience with him and the difficulty we had in trying to get him to take on the Bayou Vista case, I'd say he actually believes that.

The citizens of Galveston County need to have a District Attorney-whether Republican, Democrat, or Libertarian-who is willing to apply the laws of evidence, investigation, and filing of charges fairly and equitably to everyone regardless of their title or elected capacity. I don't believe we have that now and I don't believe the GCDN is fulfilling their journalistic obligation by ignoring the repeated and troublesome outcomes of Roady's actions.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

If Ken Clark backs him, he'll probably get through the primary. It would probably qualify as an upset for a Democrat or Libertarian to win the general election unless there's a significant change in the political seas.

Lyra Mitchell

I suppose this is what the "vote the R" campaign results show. I cross party lines all the time with my blue dog leanings. I would never blindly vote straight ticket, you might accidentally vote some scoundrels into office.

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