Williamson County DA Jana Duty to remain in office

Williamson County District Attorney Jana Duty will remain in office for the rest of her term. FOX 7 was the only news station inside the courtroom on Wednesday when a judge decided not to issue a citation in the removal lawsuit, which essentially dismissed her case.

Inside the Williamson County courtroom, both sides presented arguments regarding a removal lawsuit against Duty. In the end, the case was dismissed.

"The main points we made, we've been making since their first petition was filed. That is that the allegations against Ms. Duty don't constitute grounds for removal from office and I think that's what the judge decided today. We're pleased," says Dan Richards, one attorney for Jana Duty.

In August, a petition was filed by Williamson County Attorney Dee Hobbs to remove Duty from office.

Two main points were made - Hobbs claimed that she violated a judge's order by discussing a case with the public and withheld evidence during a capital murder trial.

"They were given a shortcut without the proper data behind it. So not knowing how to do that in the most important of cases and not providing that to the defense so they can represent their client, that is concerning for every case that has to go forward," says Dee Hobbs, Williamson County attorney.

In the petition, Hobbs wanted the court to suspend Duty and appoint a temporary replacement. But Duty could not be served with a lawsuit unless Judge Dietz decided to issue a citation against her and he decided against that.

"That's what the removal proceeding is for. It's not for personal vendettas or political vendettas. It's to remove someone who flat can't do the job and there's really no allegation that she can't do the job. So it's an appropriate outcome," says Richards.

"I don't know of any vendetta. The problem is we have a lot of cases that need to be heard. I am one of those you call a true believer in what's given to a statwide prosecutor and I believe in Texas prosecutors. I believe we are to see that justice is done. I believe her behavior says that was not a priority to her. If you're going to be the highest ranking prosecutor in the county, you better make that a priority," says Hobbs.

Neither party can appeal the decision. Duty will finish her term in office, which ends in January.

If a citation had been issued, it would have went to a jury trial. The jury would have then determined whether or not Duty should be removed before the end of her term.

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