WilCo Judge Timothy Wright suspended after federal indictments

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Texas' State Commission on Judicial Conduct has suspended Williamson County-At-Law Judge Tim Wright without pay after he was indicted on gun charges.

The Austin American-Statesman (http://atxne.ws/1GPRbP3 ) reports the suspension was a result of the nine federal charges that Wright faces. The suspension went into effect Wednesday.

According to the U.S. attorney's office, Wright is accused of selling firearms on three occasions in February to someone he knew or had reasonable cause to believe was a convicted felon. Wright is also accused of helping to illegally export weapons to Mexico.

The 70-year-old judge was indicted Tuesday, and ordered to surrender his passport, concealed handgun license and ammunition.

The commission's order says "one or more of the charges constitutes a felony offense."

Jim Senter, Wright's attorney, says the judge has a federal firearms license, which enables him to buy and sell firearms. He said, however, that Wright did not know the person to whom he sold weapons was a convicted criminal or that the weapons would be taken to Mexico.

Wright's attorney, Jim Senter, has said that his client is innocent. Hours before the commission issued the suspension, the attorney said Wright would continue to preside over cases.

Don Higginbotham, a former county court-at-law judge for Williamson County, will replace Wright indefinitely while the judge's federal case is pending.

Wright, who has been the judge of Williamson County Court at Law No. 2 since January 2003, is expected to enter a formal plea on April 15.

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