2 top Texas judges on ballot fighting ethics fines

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Associated Press

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 2 at 1:05 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Two of Texas' top judges have been able to put off paying huge ethics fines for more than two years and neither case stands to be resolved before Election Day when both are on the ballot for new six-year terms.

The $100,000 fine in 2010 against Court of Criminal Appeals Presiding Judge Sharon Keller, and the $29,000 fine levied against state Supreme Court Justice Nathan Hecht in 2008 are among the largest in state history.

Both Republicans have appealed their fines and the cases have dragged on to the point where court watchdogs and political opponents are asking if state ethics laws are truly a deterrent.

Hecht's Democrat opponent has blamed the delays on political cronyism in a Republican-controlled state.

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