GALVESTON — The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office is investigating a county court judge after receiving a complaint that claims the judge possibly abused his official capacity.
The complaint stems from a Dec. 27 letter from attorney Greg Enos, who urged an investigation into Judge Christopher Dupuy of County Court at Law No. 3.
Enos claims in the letter he has circumstantial evidence that Dupuy used county equipment or software to provide legal assistance to a woman. Enos says Dupuy is dating the woman and might have used county equipment to help her in a family law matter, which could be a violation of the state’s penal code related to abuse of official capacity.
Dupuy, who was elected judge in a 2010 Republican landslide, denied Enos’ allegations in a statement to The Daily News, calling them ridiculous and baseless.
“There’s no need to respond to ridiculous, baseless allegations made by a partisan Democrat to a socialist newspaper,” Dupuy said.
Dupuy also said he was saddened Enos would chose to fabricate allegations when he has no proof.
“I am thankful that the county provides all offices a floor-based receptacle for the receipt of such nonsense,” Dupuy said.
‘Not a party issue’
Enos responded to Dupuy’s comment, saying that although he supports U.S. President Barak Obama, he has also recently battled against two county Democrat judges.
“Being a good judge, being ethical and following the law is not a party issue,” Enos said.
In the letter to Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady, Enos says he represents a father in a child custody modification case. Enos says Dupuy is dating the mother in the case.
The mother’s attorney was disqualified from the case, so she represented herself, Enos says.
On Dec. 17, Enos claims in the complaint that his law office received faxed documents on the case that said they are from Christopher Dupuy. The faxes came from a phone number that is apparently associated with an Internet-based fax service that allows subscribers to email their documents to the service, and the service faxes the documents to designated clients.
Other attorneys have confirmed Dupuy used this service to send faxes that are clearly from the judge, such as state bar grievances, and those faxes have the identical number and name at the top, Enos claims.
The documents were clearly drafted by an attorney and not the woman, who works as a dental hygienist, the letter claims.
Enos claims the county recently purchased the legal document assembly program Pro Doc for Dupuy. Enos’ office uses Pro Doc extensively to prepare legal documents in his family law practice of 27 years. Enos said he is very certain the documents he sent to Roady were prepared using Pro Doc.
Judges generally have no need for the software, as attorneys create legal papers for judges, Enos said.
Enos had a hearing before Dupuy on Dec. 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m., and at 3:32 p.m., Enos’ office received a fax on the woman’s case. The fax listed Christopher Dupuy’s name, Enos claims.
“Given that I had just concluded a hearing before Judge Dupuy at roughly 3 p.m., it seems almost certain that this fax was sent by him from the courthouse,” Enos’ letter states.
Although the custody modification case is sealed, the judge will allow Enos to send the documents to the state bar and State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Enos said.
No ‘smoking gun’
“I don’t have a smoking gun or direct proof he did any of that,” Enos said. “It’s just circumstantial and makes it highly suspicious.”
Enos speculated Dupuy could have used his own laptop from the courthouse or allowed the woman or an attorney to use the software.
Enos also said he hoped Dupuy had not committed a crime, but he felt it was his duty to bring the facts to Roady’s attention.
The Texas Penal Code says offenses under the abuse of official capacity statute range from Class-C misdemeanors to first-degree felonies based on the value of the what government property could have been misused.
“I can confirm that we’ve received Greg Enos’ complaint and are investigating it,” Roady said.