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Commission on Judicial Conduct dismisses complaints against 214th District Court Judge Inna Klein

Judge Inna Klein
Posted at 12:55 PM, Aug 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-12 14:14:02-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The State Commission on Judicial Conduct voted Thursday to dismiss complaints against 214th District Court Judge Inna Klein.

The complaints stemmed from allegations that Klein, and others, watchedjury deliberations via a surveillance system in her court manager's office.

The identity of the person or entity who filed the complaints is unknown; that information is confidential.

A letter from the commission issued Friday states "after a thorough review, as mandated by the laws concerning its procedure, the Commission voted to dismiss the complaints based on the corrective actions you took to address the concerns surrounding the recording of jury deliberations."

COVID-19 protocols put in place at the Nueces County Courthouse required jurors to deliberate in the courtroom.

Documents obtained by KRIS 6 News indicate that when Klein became aware the surveillance system was recording jurors, she consulted with several departments at the courthouse to determine how to turn the system off.

"As you are likely aware juries are deliberating in the district courtrooms following trial pursuant to our local COVID-19 protocols," Klein wrote in an email to Nueces County Judge Barbara Canales on Nov. 15, 2021. "We were made aware earlier today that the deliberations may be recorded but after numerous attempts to find out who maintains and operates the system, we were unable to find out which entity is in charge of the possible recordings. We first contacted the IT department but were told by the IT that the Sheriff’s office maintains the system. We contacted the Sheriff’s office but were told that it is the county building maintenance department who maintains the surveillance. At this time, we are still unaware of who does it. We are also not sure if anyone is in fact recording it, whether it is stored anywhere and if so for how long. The deliberations are also being captured by the surveillance cameras in the courtrooms. Both situations are problematic."

Klein then notified 319th District Court Judge David Stith, and asked that other judges be informed.

"I found out today that it is possible that everything being said in the courtroom may be recorded," she wrote. "I do not know if it is true but if it is, it means that the jury deliberations, which since Covid has started take place in the courtroom, may also be recorded. Since many of the courts are resuming jury trials, I believe we need to have an urgent meeting to address this issue."