Texas Rangers are investigating State District Judge Amber Givens, the presiding judge of Dallas County’s 282nd Judicial District Court, after she was accused last year of allowing one of her staffers to impersonate her during a court session conducted online.
During a virtual court proceeding in 2021, a group of defense attorneys said Givens was absent from the meeting. A staffer, Arceola Warfield, conducted the proceedings, The Dallas Express initially reported.
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed to The Dallas Express that it is investigating Givens and Warfield but could not provide further details of an ongoing investigation. The Dallas Morning News reportedly confirmed that the investigation stems from last year’s accusations.
In November, the Dallas County Defense Lawyers Association filed a complaint with the State alleging Givens ordered Warfield to stand in for her during a bond proceeding from an August burglary. The complaint stated that Givens’ virtual account was included on the call, but the video feed was turned off.
Givens alleges it was her voice on the call, The Dallas Express reported, but that due to technical difficulties, she provided Warfield with her login credentials and asked her to log in to the online system on her behalf. Givens then called Warfield, asked to be put on speakerphone, and spoke to attendees that way.
“It’s a total political hit job,” Givens’ attorney, Nicole Knox, told The Dallas Express in January. “It’s a political move. These are supporters of her opponents who have made these defamatory statements that are one hundred percent false. I don’t know how they were convinced to make up this story or tell lies to the press, but they were. The timing of it could not be clearer. You’re doing it in the middle of a campaign. Early voting starts on February 14.”
It is unclear what charges the pair could face — Texas Penal Code 37.11 lists “impersonating a public servant” as a third-degree felony.
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