Tarrant County JP's Husband Caught on Video Removing Opponent's Signs

UPDATE: On Thursday, Judge Wright apologized for her husband's actions. In an email to her opponent, she said her husband was "wrong" to remove the signs and that she wasn't aware he did. Below is the original article Wednesday.

A candidate for Tarrant County justice of the peace said Wednesday he would file a criminal complaint after obtaining a video showing the current judge’s husband removing his campaign signs.

Chris Gregory, a Lake Worth police sergeant, said he asked the county for surveillance video after two of his political signs were pulled up from a grassy area at the Northwest sub-courthouse.

The video showed Judge Jacquelyn Wright walking into the building and her husband, Ross Ladart, pulling up the signs and tossing them aside.

"It's not right. It's not proper,” Gregory said. “Especially for a judge to be doing it."

Asked about the video, Judge Wright confirmed exactly what it showed but offered a defense of her husband’s actions.

"No he didn't do anything wrong. He didn't do anything malicious,” Wright said. “He thought he was doing the right thing by moving them off county property."

Wright said a county commissioner asked her to remove her signs from the same spot four years ago, adding she wasn’t familiar with any law or policy forbidding the practice.

"It's somebody trying to make a big deal out of nothing,” Wright said. “I'm sorry the voters are having to put up with this nonsense."

Tarrant County spokesman Marc Flake said it's OK for signs to be placed along the courthouse driveway.

He said the only rule is they must be 100 feet away from the entrance to a voting station, and the area where the signs were placed is clearly much farther than that. The polling station is set up in the courthouse annex, which is across the parking lot.

Gregory said he would file a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission and a criminal complaint with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office.

"I just want to run my campaign on ethics and integrity,” he said. “I just want to run a race clean and fair and let the voters decide who is going to win -- whether it be me or her or one of the other ones running."

Wright has served as JP for 28 years.

She was publicly rebuked four years ago by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.

The panel said she violated rules by posting an obscene message on Facebook directed at her opponent and also offering a court favor in a pending criminal case. She denied any wrongdoing.

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