On Wednesday, August 16, 2023, the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct issued a public warning against Jerald Dean Fowler II, judge of the 115th Judicial District Court Gilmer, Upshur County, Texas, for driving while intoxicated.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Jerald Dean Fowler II,” with case no. 23-0079.

The charges cited Section 49.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code, Canon 2A of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, and Article V, Section I-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution.

This decision to issue a public warning against Honorable Fowler II comes after a thorough review of allegations stemming from an incident on September 9, 2022. On that fateful night, Judge Fowler was involved in a car accident, leading to his subsequent arrest for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Following an investigation, he pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor DWI charge on February 7, 2023, and was sentenced to one year of deferred adjudication probation.

During the review process, Judge Fowler admitted to consuming a substantial amount of alcohol along with two prescription sleep medications prior to operating his vehicle. He confessed to having only “vague recollections” of the events that unfolded after the accident, while also revealing that his insurance company settled for $200,000 with the injured parties. Despite these revelations, Judge Fowler maintained that his consumption of alcohol and prescription drugs would not impair his performance of judicial duties, emphasizing that he had taken measures to prevent any such recurrence.

The Commission’s decision was grounded in the violation of several key ethical and legal standards. Canon 2A of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct requires judges to comply with the law, a standard which Judge Fowler fell short of when he operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated, an offense under Section 49.04(a) of the Texas Penal Code. Additionally, Article V, Section I-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution stipulates that a judge must not engage in conduct inconsistent with the proper performance of their duties or that casts public discredit upon the judiciary or administration of justice, a criterion which Judge Fowler’s actions failed to meet.

The Disposition states:

“Judge Fowler’s failure in this respect constituted willful conduct that cast public discredit upon the judiciary and the administration of justice, in violation of Article V, Section I-a(6)A of the Texas Constitution.”

The Judge’s courtroom is located at 405 North Titus Gilmer, TX 75644, and can be reached at 903-843-2836. His bio can be found on ballotpedia.org.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.