Several newly elected judges owe thousands in fines. Dallas County judge Marilynn Mayse owes over $42,000 to the state for not reporting her campaign donors through multiple bids for office. Judge Mayse owes the second-most in fines, according to the Texas Ethics Commission's list of delinquent filers.
In Texas, judicial candidates are required to regularly report their campaign fundraising to the state commission. This includes reporting to the state and voters who donated to their campaigns. However, thanks in part to a lackluster enforcement system, candidates face few penalities. According to Dallas News, Democrat Amber Givens who oversees the 282nd District Court in Dallas County owes $500. Givens last reported her contributions in July, two more reports were due in the months since. Most of the judges and or former judicial candidates owe $500, which is the fine for one missed campaign finance report.
Several others owe thousands of dollars in fines. The list includes former state District Judge Theresa Hawthorne, who lost her election for the 282nd District Court. She owes $33,000. Craig Bonham ran for judge and owes $11,500. Former judge Andy Chatham owes more than $5,000, and he has chalked up his failing to a simple mistake. According to Dallas News, Chatham says he mailed a check to the Ethics Commission. It was reported that Bonham chalks up his charge to a mistake made by the Ethics Commission, after filing at the last minute in 2014.
Dallas Morning News reports the Ethics Commission give candidates the opportunities to explain their late filings, and may not penalize them. Givens is set to give her explanation.