Governor Greg Abbott finally appointed someone to finish out the perpetually troubled Susan Hawk’s term today: Faith Johnson, former district judge and prosecutor. Johnson, a Republican who has been in private practice for the past decade or so, becomes the first black woman to be Dallas’ district attorney; she’ll hold the post through 2017. Tough break for Messina Madson, who has been running the office pretty much for the last year.
As for what kind of DA Johnson will be, she was not exactly soft on crime as a judge:
When Johnson was a judge, the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct raised questions after she threw a party in her courtroom with cake and balloons to mark the capture of a prisoner who fled during his trial. The commission publicly admonished Johnson.
“The commission concludes that Judge Johnson failed to maintain order and decorum in the courtroom … when she celebrated Billy Ray Williams’ apprehension with balloons, streamers, cake and ice cream, and when she promoted the event by inviting the media to capture Williams’ bewildered expression as he entered the courtroom and observed the celebration,” the commission concluded in April 2005. “The judge’s actions in this case were willful and cast public discredit upon the judiciary.”