Houston housing lawyer tapped to replace Green as justice of the peace

Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday voted unanimously to appoint Reginald Fox, a Houston lawyer, to serve as a Justice-of-the-Peace, Precinct 7, Place 1, the seat recently vacated by Hilary Green.

Green resigned in March amid accusations of paying prostitutes for sex, abusing drugs while on the bench and sexting a bailiff. She already had been temporarily suspended by the Texas Supreme Court when she resigned citing “the unexpected death of my father and my mother’s newly diagnosed illness.”

Her replacement, Fox, has worked for 25 years for Lone Star Legal Aid, an organization that provides free legal assistance to indigent clients. In an April 19 letter to Commissioners Court, Fox cited his experience in landlord-tenant law, representing clients in cases involving evictions, lockouts, security deposits and utility shut-offs, as issues that would come before the justice-of-the-peace court.

“There is no doubt that I am uniquely qualified for this position and have the work ethic and integrity that will make my appointment to this position a sound choice,” Fox wrote. “I can also guarantee that if you appoint me to this position, I will work my butt off to validate your confidence in appointing me to the position.”

The laundry list of accusations against Green was fully revealed last year in a 316-page court filing by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. The document outlined four separate judicial misconduct complaints lodged against her between 2012 and 2016, including accusations lobbed by former lover Claude Barnes, who claimed he and the judge had hired prostitutes on at least two occasions.

In her response to the commission, Green admitted to many of the allegations, including illegally obtaining prescription drugs and using marijuana and ecstasy at the same time she was presiding over low-level drug possession cases involving minors in her court, the records show.

Fox will serve until November 2018. He still must be sworn in before he officially assumes the office.

mihir.zaveri@chron.com

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