GOLIAD, Texas (AP) — A state panel warned a county official in South Texas to change his conduct after complaints about comments he made, including one in which he said he should get a human hunting permit so he could shoot a county official.
Goliad County Judge Pat Calhoun, the county’s top administrator, said he received a private warning from the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, the Victoria Advocate reported. Calhoun said the warning was downgraded from a private reprimand after he visited the commission in Austin last month.
“They said, ‘The colorful language needs to stop,'” Calhoun said. “I said, ‘That’s a fair enough deal.'”
The commission’s executive director, Eric Vinson, said he couldn’t confirm whether there was an investigation into misconduct by Calhoun due to privacy reasons.
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County Commissioner Mickey White was among those who complained about Calhoun. He said Calhoun told him he might seek a hunting license that would allow him to kill White.
“He thinks he is above the law,” White said.
County Treasurer Daphne Buelter filed a complaint last year alleging that Calhoun made threatening and unprofessional comments to her. Buelter also said Calhoun told another county official he would bury the person where “the dogs wouldn’t find them,” and would shout and scream at people attending juvenile court, which Calhoun presides over.
Calhoun said the comments were just part of his sense of humor and that the complaints are “a complete political witch hunt.”
But Buetler said she and others didn’t find Calhoun’s words funny.
“His demeanor in commissioners court was to the point that people didn’t want to go,” Buelter said. “Even when he says he’s joking, he says some vile things.”
Calhoun said he will stay out of trouble with the commission and is committed to toning down his language. He has about a year left in his four-year term.
Information from: The Victoria Advocate, http://www.victoriaadvocate.com