Thursday, June 28, 2012
Collin County jury convicts Park Cities woman of bribing former judge
Is this justice in Collin County at long last?
Maybe we can go buy homes in McKinney again. I had just gotten word that this trial was underway, and wham, already a verdict: guilty. You may recall when I told you about Stacy and David Cary. But first, remember the name Judge Suzanne Wooten? She was convicted in Collin County last November for bribery, for accepting $150,000 in funds from a University Park couple, Stacy and David Cary. They apparently gave her the dough to rule in favor of an acrimonious child custody battle David was having. She used the money for her campaign expenses, according to prosecutors. Full disclosure: we knew both David and Jennifer, David’s second wife, when they were married, and their super nice, beautiful kids. There was speculation the charges against Wooten were politically motivated, since the investigation was launched by Collin County’s previous district attorney, John Roach, who Wooten claimed had a political vendetta against her, even though the two are Republicans. (Good grief.) The Texas attorney general’s office took over the investigation in 2008 when Roach recused himself from his office last year. But then Wooten’s complaints of intimidation and harassment, even by a fellow Repub, spurred an FBI investigation that was later dropped. Wooten has said she never knew the Carys or their daughters. And $150,000 might get you a better judicial photo.
So today we learn that a Collin County jury found Stacy Cary guilty of eight felony charges that she secretly financed Wooten’s 2008 judicial campaign in exchange for future favorable rulings in court on her husband’s nasty child custody case, or a new judge, or something. This is serious stuff: the 56 year old Park Cities resident was convicted Wednesday of six counts of bribery along with one count each of engaging in organized criminal activity and money laundering (NOT in the Miele). She faces up to life in prison, but is eligible for probation. That jury was lickety-split — just three hours of deliberations. Prosecutors said Cary was part of a complex scheme that helped Wooten get elected in 2008 to the 380th Judicial District bench in Collin County. Cary, they said, made six payments totaling $150,000 to Wooten’s campaign manager, James Stephen Spencer, between January and March 2008, who deposited the money in his personal bank account (co-mingling?) and used the money on Wooten’s campaign expenses.
Cary’s attorney, Heather Barbieri, told jurors the state’s case was full of holes and did not prove that Stacy Cary was involved in any of the bribery. If Cary had really bribed Wooten, Barbieri told jurors, the judge would have stayed on her husband’s case but Wooten actually recused herself from the case after taking office. Weird, huh. Guess you should never brag that you “own a judge in Collin County”. One witness, who was later said to be an untrustworthy witness, said he heard David Cary, who goes to trial next, bragging this at the software company he owned.
Is this justice in Collin County at long last? I’ve heard that the Collin County family law system stinks. I’ve been dealing with one in Illinois that stinks more. Maybe they all do. You usually don’t plan on getting a divorce when you buy a house. But at least one commenter on the Collin County Observer has said it’s stuff like this that steers buyers from McKinney. And then there’s this:
“There is a small group of us within the community that are working at present, behind the scenes, quietly gathering information to finally bring to light, this connection to money laundering from outside our state from known criminals. Criminals who would not hesitate to make known concerned citizens look like they shot themselves, if they revealed their information. This explains why the tax load on the average McKinney homeowner sits in the highest levels in this county that exists in Texas. It also explains why our school system is broken. It also explains why Allen, Texas is now number one in the country as a great place to retire, and McKinney has completely dropped from the rankings all together.”
Stacy and David Cary live on Lovers Lane in UP: built 1997, their home is spacious, updated, about 3900 square feet with a Thermadore kitchen, granite, marble, wood, fine millwork, Anderson windows, a central vac, humidifer, and porte corchere. It was listed for $779,000 and sold to Stacy Stine April 13, 2004 for $775,000. David’s name is not listed on DCAD as having ownership in the home. Oh and there is a faux white picket fence in front.
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