On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the Brownwood Bulletin reported that Shane Britton, judge of Brown County, Texas, gave statements regarding the complaint filed by the Brown County Democratic Party against him in the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for his failure to notify a member of the Elections Commission of the required statutory notice of the County Election Commission’s meeting.
In the statements made by a Brownwood resident named, Daniel Graham addressing Brown County Commissioners Court members during the citizen’s presentation portion of the agenda, he stated that he was provided by Mr. Mike Bullard, a member of the Elections Commission, and chairman of the Brown County Democratic Party, a copy of a complaint he filed against Brown County Judge Shane Britton after he wasn’t given the required statutory notice of the County Election Commission’s meeting wherein the new County Elections Administrator Brenda Arp was appointed.
According to Mr. Graham, the complaint went beyond the failure to notify Mr. Bullard of the said Elections Commission meeting. The elections code requires Judge Britton to file a signed copy of the resolution or order appointing the new elections administrator with the county clerk, who then must deliver a certified copy of that document to the secretary of state.
Moreover, according to Mr. Graham, when he asked Judge Britton regarding the matter, the latter chose not to answer his inquiries, “He didn’t answer my questions either, but instead denied and minimized the complaint. He assured me that Mr. Bullard had indeed been notified (without saying how or when) and that, in any case, Mr. Bullard’s presence at the Election Commission meeting would not have affected the decision of the commission to appoint Mrs. Arp as the new elections administrator.”
Mr. Graham added that Judge Britton closed his response to him with a comment that he found both odd and alarming stating, “I am completely confident that the spirit of the law regarding the appointments of Election Administrators was followed, and that the appointment of Mrs. Arp was appropriate and legal.” According to Mr. Graham, he found this odd, because he implied himself that he did not follow the letter of the law and he found this alarming because the “spirit of the law” is a subjective standard that is irrelevant.
In relation to the statements made by Mr. Graham, Judge Britton answered the issues stating that he misspoke about the notices that had been sent out prior to the Elections Commission meeting.
“I had been misinformed that notice of the meeting had been sent directly to each of the other four members of the Brown County Election Commission.,” Judge Britton said. “While notice of the meeting was distributed via email to media members in Brown County, as well as being posted on the front of the courthouse, I have since determined that no such notice was sent to Mike Bullard, Democratic Party Chairman.”
Judge Britton further mentioned that he thought that Mr. Bullard was one of the four individuals the elections committee notified.
“This was a simple clerical error, and no ill intent was intended. If I make a mistake, I will be the first to admit my mistake and apologize,’ he said. “Since I am the chairman of the Elections Commission, I have the ultimate responsibility for seeing that each member is notified, and I failed. I have extended my apologies to Mr. Bullard and the Brown County Democratic Party.”
As required by the Secretary of State of Texas in electing a new election administrator, Mr. Mike Bullard should have received a notice of the meeting as a member of the Elections Commission.
Source: Brownwood Bulletin