Last Wednesday, just hours after we published “Family Court Feud,” a news story about a legal battle in federal court chiefly between two Republican judges, a codefendant – Tarrant County – filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit. Filed by Associate Family Court Judge Diane Haddock against both Tarrant County and Judge Patricia Baca-Bennett, the lawsuit includes the allegation that Baca-Bennett carried out a campaign of harassment that “created a hostile work environment” for Haddock. Baca-Bennett, Haddock alleges, was responding to social media posts by Haddock’s husband to sink the nomination of an associate family court judge seeking an elected position on that court. Tarrant County was included in the lawsuit because Haddock claimed the county was told about the alleged harassment on several occasions but did nothing to stop it. In the motion to dismiss, according to a source in the Tarrant County clerk’s office who was not authorized to speak on the record, Tarrant County claims that the county is not responsible for its judges in personal matters.
Correction: In last week’s story, it was erroneously reported that Associate Family Court Judge James Munford was not running in the 2018 election. He ran for the 322 District Court Judge position on the Republican ticket. We regret the error.