The departing Dallas County district attorney has won perhaps the last court battle in a bitter fight over his office's prosecution of an oil fortune heir for mortgage fraud.
The 5th Texas Court of Appeals in Dallas ruled a local judge was wrong to hold a hearing on whether District Attorney Craig Watkins had abused his powers for political gain in prosecuting Al Hill III.
Watkins' refusal to testify at that hearing led to a contempt citation and rumors of an FBI investigation. The local judge, Lena Levario, then dismissed the mortgage fraud case against Hill.
Watkins -- once considered a rising Democratic star in Texas -- lost his bid for re-election this year, as did Levario. The incoming district attorney, Susan Hawk, has not said whether she'll prosecute Hill.