“Bonkers” is the first word that came to mind as I read this Twitter thread and the linked story at the end of it:
#BREAKING: Loving County Judge Skeet Jones was arrested earlier today by the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
He and three others are accused of picking up loose cattle and selling them.
Special rangers have been on this case for more than a year.
— Tatum Guinn (@tatumguinn) 5:55 PM – 20 May 2022
This isn’t my first time reporting on Judge Jones.
In 2014, I did a story about how he was helping CDL drivers.
He was taking speeding tickets and turning them into illegal parking tickets. The driver would pay a higher fine and keep a clean driving record. You can’t do that.
— Tatum Guinn (@tatumguinn) 9:50 PM – 20 May 2022
Other changed charges include possession of marijuana, illegal dumping and driving with an invalid license — all changed to an illegal parking ticket.
— Tatum Guinn (@tatumguinn) 10:28 PM – 20 May 2022
Read the rest of the thread and the story at the end for more. Remember that this is the County Judge at the top of this alleged crime ring – imagine if say, Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough had been busted for running a gang of car thieves. A few other points to note:
– This was not Judge Skeet Jones’ first brush with the law, as noted. In 2016, the State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public warning and order of additional education for his role in quashing speeding tickets for truck drivers (note that “CDL” = “commercial drivers license”, so this was for people who drive, usually big rig trucks, for a living). In a sane world, it should have been a political-career-ending scandal, but somehow there he was still in office eight years later stealing cows.
County Judge is normally an executive position, but constitutionally they do have some bench-judge authority, which most County Judges are too busy to do even if they had any interest in it. And also, since I’m sure you’re wondering, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association does indeed have law enforcement authority, which apparently includes a crossover with Oklahoma. The things I learn doing this blog, I swear. Anyway, this is my nominee for most amazing story of the year, and I don’t even want to think about what could knock it off that perch. Many thanks to my friend Ginger for pointing this out to me.