Following Haslam’s several complaints to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct, Lamar County District Judge Eric Clifford resigned the bench in the middle of his second term and agreed to never run for judge again. The materials below describe these events.
The September 5, 2015 Public Reprimand of Eric Clifford by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct [SCJC]
The actual nine-page Public Reprimand of Judge Eric Clifford issued by the SCJC following Haslam’s complaints.
The May 19, 2016 SCJC Letter Thanking Haslam
After the Texas SCJC issued its Public Reprimand of Clifford, Haslam submitted a new complaint alleging Clifford lied under oath in his August 2015 testimony to the SCJC. [The audio and transcript of that testimony is found under the Evidence section below, as is the new complaint]. This SCJC letter to Haslam thanks him for reporting Clifford’s perjury and includes Clifford’s written agreement with the SCJC to never run for judge again in return for the SCJC’s agreement not to discipline him further.
Article Describing Haslam’s Investigation
ImpactFund.org | November 18, 2016
A fitting conclusion to Haslam’s successful efforts to unseat Lamar County Judge Eric Clifford, this article describes how the Texas legislature changed the law to forbid statewide one of Clifford’s abuses of office: his practice of unlawfully charging indigent defendants for their court-appointed attorney fees.
The article details Haslam’s work with the Texas Fair Defense Project to stop the practice in Lamar County, and then convincing the Texas legislature to change the law to prevent all Texas judges from doing it anymore, anywhere with its amendments to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 26.05[g].
Former judge banned from office could collect disability pay
Posted: July 3, 2016 by Lynn LaRowe
“Good riddance,” Haslam said of Clifford’s judicial ban. “Paris, Texas, has been run by men who confuse their daddy’s money with their own character for generations. Eric Clifford is just exhibit 217. I hope the community recognizes it has a chance at change in November.”
Second Texarkana Gazette Story on the Public Reprimand
Dated October 15, 2015.
The story reports Clifford’s statement to a Kiwana’s Club audience that some people “deserve to be killed” when describing a pending murder case, and his explanation that a young woman defendant knew about his sleep apnea only because “…it was pretty common knowledge….” when I went to sleep in court one day.”
Clifford’s Prostitution Arrest and Guilty Plea
Former Paris mayor and Republican candidate for 6th -District Judge Eric Clifford spent time in an Austin jail and served a probationary sentence for solicitation of prostitution in 1995, according to Travis County court documents.
Haslam’s Second Complaint to the SCJC
November 15, 2015
Here, Haslam exposed Clifford’s perjury when testifying in Austin in response to Haslam’s original complaints. This is the complaint that forced Clifford to resign.
Paris PD Officer Clifford Bigler’s Audio of the Meeting with Clifford
This audio made by Officer Bigler of his meeting when Clifford summoned him to his office to demand he manage a neighborhood dispute or he would send juvenile probation officers to his home.
The SCJC issued written questions to Clifford about this encounter and Clifford originally denied even speaking to Bigler about it. [See the written denials in the last two pages of the 300+ written pages of materials considered by the SCJC in evaluating the complaints about Clifford].
When confronted with the audiotape Clifford admitted the meeting but denied calling the juve officers. During his Austin testimony, Clifford admitted he called juvenile probation. [The audio of Clifford’s testimony is in the Evidence section of this site, as well.].
Listen to Audio
Complete Audio of Clifford’s 90-minute August 14, 2015 testimony under oath to the SCJC
Pull up a chair. This is what can happen if we don’t educate ourselves about judicial candidates. Clifford testified under oath to the panel of SCJC members about the complaints. This is the entire hearing…and it is remarkable.
Listen to Audio
Lamar County Assistant DA’s Letters to the SCJC
August 14, 2015
Written statements of two Lamar County Assistant District Attorneys, Laurie Pollard and Jill Drake, submitted to the SCJC describing Clifford’s unethical discussions with Paris defense attorney Dave Turner.
These are the 300+ pages of Written Materials considered by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct
These documents include the complaints submitted to the SCJC and Clifford’s written responses to written questions he submitted before his August 14, 2015 testimony under oath in Austin. Other materials are included, as well.