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Texas grand jury indicts judge for alleged Burglary, tampering with government documents

April 26, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Texas grand jury indicts judge for alleged Burglary, tampering with government documents

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Texas grand jury indicts San Jacinto County Judge John Lovett Jr.

A Texas grand jury issued a three-count indictment against its San Jacinto county judge for the purported burglary of a county office, tampering with government documents, and forgery. Two of the charges are felonies while the third is categorized as a Class A Misdemeanor.

After a special prosecutor from the Office of the Texas Attorney General presented the evidence, a San Jacinto County grand jury delivered a three-count indictment on Monday against County Judge John Lovett Jr.

The indictment states that Lovett illegally broke into the office of San Jacinto County Clerk Dawn Wright and used her signature stamp to forge a government record.

The indictment further claims that Lovett forged the certification of a Notice of Meeting of the San Jacinto County Commissioners Court by using the stamp to make it seem that the County Clerk approved the document, ABC13 reported.

After the indictment was returned from the grand jury, San Jacinto County Sheriff Greg Capers arrested Lovett and brought the county judge to the jail for booking and processing. Lovett was suspended without pay about an hour later.

On Monday afternoon, Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Beth Sewell permitted Lovett to be released on a personal recognizance bond.

The probe into the alleged behavior of the county judge was launched last July when an alarm at the office of the San Jacinto County Clerk led to a police response from the sheriff’s office. Deputies arrived and reportedly discovered Levett, who said he was the one who went into the office. He claimed his position as county judge gave him the power to use a master key to be on the premises.

County Clerk Wright did not agree with this claim.

“No one else should be able to come into my office other than my staff or me. I can confirm that it was broken into because there is proof of my stamp being used,” Wright said.

Lovett tried to justify his actions last year and told the press, “The clerk of the court is subservient to the court. If I need to go into the office of the court, I have every right to do so.”

“The sheriff’s office is investigating the alarm call,” Lovett said at the time. “I don’t believe they are investigating any crimes.”

This is not the county judge’s first run-in with police since he was elected in 2014.

Just before the July 2017 break-in, a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper cited Judge Levett for neglecting to maintain financial responsibility by not having insurance and for driving on the wrong side of a road. His actions reportedly caused a 16-year-old girl to crash her vehicle, where she suffered cuts and bruises.

Lovett claimed he was trying to carry out county business and was working on a mental health emergency when the crash took place.

The county judge revealed that he would not pursue re-election in his current office after these incidents. Instead, Lovett indicated that he would run for the position of Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1. During the March Primary Election, Lovett came second in a six-way race to Christina McGee. His name is listed on the ballot for the runoff election set for May.

San Jacinto County GOP Chairman Dwayne Wright, who is married to County Clerk Dawn Wright, told Breitbart Texas: “Today’s events surrounding the county judge are unfortunate. The San Jacinto County Republican Party hopes that justice will be served while maintaining that people are innocent until proven guilty. While there are many rumors, we stand in support of our judicial system, and it’s ability to discern culpability. The San Jacinto County Republican Party will move forward to have a positive impact in our county.”

The Commissioners Court convened an emergency session on Monday and designated Precinct 4 Commissioner Mark Nettuno to temporarily serve as county judge while Lovett is suspended.

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