Texas Watch

SCOTX Justice Let Off the Hook

SCOTX Justice Let Off the Hook

In 2008, the Texas Ethics Commission found that Justice Nathan Hecht violated state ethics laws.

Today, Hecht was let off the hook.

After reviewing a complaint filed by Texas Watch, the ethics commission determined that Hecht improperly accepted a six-figure discount on legal expenses. The TEC ruled the discount was a campaign donation that exceeded contribution limits for judicial candidates and was not reported on campaign finance filings.They fined him $29,000. Hecht appealed the ruling to state court where it languished for seven years.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Hecht and the TEC have settled the matter. Hecht’s fine will be slashed from $29,000 to just $1,000.

“Nathan Hecht is being let off the hook. Pure and simple,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch. “This saga makes a mockery of so-called ethics ‘enforcement’. Apparently, the way high ranking officials can beat the rap is to simply delay the process indefinitely.”

A brief timeline of the case:

  • July 24, 2007: Texas Watch files complaint against Justice Nathan Hecht with the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC) alleging illegal acceptance of unreported campaign contribution
  • December 11, 2008: TEC rules that Hecht violated multiple sections of the state Elections Code, levying a fine of $29,000
  • January 9, 2009: Hecht appeals the TEC ruling to state court; Attorney General Greg Abbott responds as TEC’s legal counsel
  • October 15, 2014: Texans for Public Justice intervenes to disqualify Abbott from the case
  • October 28, 2015: TEC and Hecht settle the case by slashing the fine to $1,000
Learn Category: