William Adams, the Texas judge who was suspended with pay in November of 2011 after a YouTube video [warning -- very graphic] surfaced of him beating his 16-year-old daughter with a belt in 2004, has been reinstated by the Texas Supreme Court and could return to ”immediately” to his judicial duties in the Gulf Coast town of Rockport, Texas, says the Dallas Morning News, though it is not clear when he will.
Adams was a family law judge who (the irony runs so deep it hurts) had presided over child and domestic abuse cases.
The video shows Adams physically and verbally abusing his daughter, Hillary Adams, for downloading some music illegally onto her computer; his then-wife, Hallie Adams, is also shown yelling at Hillary and spanks her once. Hillary Adams, who is now 23 years old and has ataxic cerebral palsy, recorded the abuse via a video camera on her dresser that she had covered with a scarf. She posted the video in October 2011 but it was only after she put a link to it on Reddit that thousands saw the video and that news sites reported about the judge’s abuse of his daughter.
Afterwards, officials in Aransas County received hundreds of calls and emails demanding that Walker be dismissed but, under Texas state law, county officials do not have any control over the employment of an elected judge. So, while Adams was suspended, he still received his salary and allowances of about $150,000. He can also serve the rest of his term, which runs through 2014.
The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct did embark on an investigation of Adams after the video surfaced. In September, it issued a public warning to Adams that the video “cast doubt on his ability to be impartial” and also said that he displayed a “pattern of demeaning behavior toward attorneys in his court.” One change as a result of the video is that Adams will no longer be presiding over cases brought by the Texas Department of Family and Protective services, which investigates charges of child abuse.
Hillary Adams and her mother have reconciled and said that they hoped the video would force Adams “to confront an abusive past.” Both women said they were disappointed at the rulings of the commission and of the court. As Hallie Adams said in the Dallas Morning News, “Hillary and I are both really sad today. I had really hoped the judicial review process would work. I had really wanted to see the public protected.”
According to the Corpus Christi Caller, Hallie Adams is continuing with efforts to have her ex-husband sanctioned on the grounds that “his behavior during and after their marriage shows he is unfit to be a judge.” They are also still involved in a legal dispute about their 10-year-old daughter, who appears at the beginning of the video.
Justice has clearly not been served in Aransas County and will not be, as long as Judge William Adams is presiding in a court of law.
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Image from a Screen capture from YouTube video of beating with inset picture of Judge William Adams from the Aransas County Website.