The Case That Never Closes
SCJC seeks reconsideration of Keller ruling
Just when we thought it was safe to put this story to bed forever, the saga of Judge Sharon Keller has reared its ugly head once more. A three-judge panel early this month tossed out a public warning handed to Keller by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The admonition had been prompted by her refusal in 2007 to keep the Court of Criminal Appeals clerk's office open in order to accept a late filing from condemned inmate Michael Richard, who was subsequently put to death. Now SCJC Executive Director Seana Willing and the commission's special counsel John McKetta are asking that same three-judge panel to reconsider its decision. If the public warning was an inappropriate disciplinary action, they're arguing, then the court should have sent the case back to the SCJC – so it could impose a more appropriate action – instead of tossing out the entire case. In a classic example of the pot calling the kettle black, Keller's lawyer, Chip Babcock, told several newspapers he was "disappointed" that the commission wouldn't just let go of the issue.