Judge One – Paul Ponzonsky
Paul Ponzonsky handled criminal cases not toxic torte cases so how did the Hallowich case end up in his court? Who makes the decision to assign certain cases to certain judges?
Ponzonsky now faces theft and drug charges . He is accused of tampering with evidence–some evidence seals on bags of cocaine were broken and they now contain baking soda and Ponzonsky’s DNA. He ordered evidence destroyed in some of his criminal cases. “He is also charged with felony conflict of interest, a violation of state ethics law.”
Ponzonsky ordered Exhibit B to the Hallowich case to be filed under seal along with other documents from that case. Another judge ruled to unseal the documents to that case but Exhibit B, which was in Ponzonsky’s office (same office were the cocaine turned baking soda resided) is missing.
Judge Two – Trey Loftin
Judge Don Chrestman was a long-time District Court judge in Parker County. He suddenly resigned in December 2010.
Judge Trey Loftin was appointed by Rick Perry to fill Chrestman’s unexpired term and hear this case that received national attention.
Loftin consistently ruled in Ranges favor. He lost the election and had to recuse himself from the case.
Judge Trey Loftin’s 43rd District Court was officially asked Wednesday to disqualify or recuse the judge from the high profile lawsuit involving Range Resources after Loftin campaigned on claims his rulings caused the EPA to change course.
Judge asked to recuse himself from case
The code prohibits judges from commenting on pending or possible cases “in a manner which suggests to a reasonable person the judge’s probable decision.”
The Court of Appeals sent some of Loftin’s rulings back for abatement.