Two judges and Range Resources

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.

Early that same month, the EPA Issued an Imminent and Substantial Endangerment Order to Protect Drinking Water in Southern Parker County.

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
Christin Coyne

Bloomberg reported that Loftin may have violated the Texas Code of Judicial Ethics.

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.

About Sharon Wilson

Sharon Wilson is considered a leading citizen expert on the impacts of shale oil and gas extraction. She is the go-to person whether it’s top EPA officials from D.C., national and international news networks, or residents facing the shock of eminent domain and the devastating environmental effects of natural gas development in their backyards.


  1. Robert Finne says

    Range does have a knack for drawing flakey judges.

    Problem is that any judge flakey enough to jump on the de-Range-d Crazy Train is that you never know what they are going to do next. Range just hasn’t mastered the art of controlling them once they get the ruling they wanted out of them.

  2. Anymous says

    What a bunch of crooked judges at the Oil-Soaked Texas courts. Looks like these judges were trained at one of those “deer camps” in Booger County–which is loaded up with crooked judges and officials!

  3. Watchdog says


    “..and exactly WHY isn’t this clown in jail???”

    “With a former DA like Pettit, a former sheriff like Fuzzy, a replacement sheriff who bought his job, and other notable County figures, I think the answer is that Washington County is among the more corrupt in the western half of the State of Pennsylvania. It’s simply become a way of life in a good-old-boy system that covers the asses of their cohorts, probably from no sense of loyalty, but because they know enough about each other that if one or two take the plunge there could be a landslide effect. The Washington Observer-Reporter newspaper deserves some of the blame, having allowed their focus to shift from internal County corruption to less sensitive topics like DUIs, fistfights in local bars, and the weather.”

    FOOTNOTE: It’s widely known that Pozonsky’s wife is good buddies with ‘drill baby drill” failed presidential candidate Sarah Palin, one of the main reasons Pozonsky et al fled to Alaska for a judgeship position. Stranger than fiction!

  4. Anymous says

    And on top of all that, know that the main street media is ALSO in kohoots with the local juntas–after all where do you think they get most of their tip, etc. for news stories that they sell.

  5. Andy Mechling says

    To the honorable Paul Pozonsky;
    We could sure use your help in this matter of the missing Exhibit B in the Hallowich case.
    For my own part, I’m not concerned about allegations of missing cocaine. How ridiculous! I am willing to believe, in fact I’m willing to bet, that you had nothing to do with the coke gone missing. Am I right?
    You see; I’m hoping that you’ve simply misplaced that exhibit; or that it was simply lost in the move. Won’t you look just one more time? Thank you.