This is a reprint from the September 3, 2014 Mongoose newsletter.
So, taking those two basic principles in mind, consider this: Judge Franklin, after she was sworn into office as a judge, submitted a pay voucher to the county for lawyer work on a CPS case done after she became a judge. Moreover, Franklin tried to mislead the Houston Chronicle editorial board last week in replying to this allegation by telling them that she started work on the bench on June 18, 2014. Franklin knew she had to tell the editors that she started work on June 18 because she had submitted a handwritten invoice for CPS work signed by her on June 17 for legal work she had done on June 13, 16 and 17, including one hour of “in court appearance.”
I am guessing that Franklin forgot the e-mail she sent me that confirmed she was sworn in as judge by Lisa Millard on June 13, 2014. I obtained from the Texas Secretary of State a copy of the oath of office signed by Alicia Franklin and dated June 13.
Click here to see the oath of office, invoices and e-mails involved and my article that seems to show beyond doubt that Franklin billed the county for lawyer work she claimed to have performed after she was sworn in as judge.
So, choose Ms. Franklin: either you falsely billed the county for legal work or you accurately billed for legal work performed after you had been sworn in as a judge. Either way, you have a big problem.
I hear that the County Auditor, after my last newsletter mentioned this issue, is refusing to pay the invoices submitted under Franklin’s name for CPS legal work after she became a judge. Most of those invoices were signed by Franklin’s associate attorney but submitted under Franklin’s name (which itself does not seem proper). However, the June 17 CPS invoice is signed by Franklin herself and clearly purports to bill for legal work Franklin herself did. The court’s docket sheet and the other attorneys in that case should be able to confirm if it was Franklin herself who appeared in juvenile court as lawyer on June 17.