Travis County judge Nancy Hohengarten will not be charged with official oppression after a grand jury decided her dispute with defense attorney Adam Reposa in a March drunken driving trial did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.
The grand jury no-billed the case on Tuesday, according to Hohengarten’s attorney, Brian Roark.
“Judge Hohengarten is happy that it’s over, but the outcome was not unexpected,” Roark said.
The official oppression allegations were presented to the jury by special prosecutor Shawn Dick, Williamson County’s district attorney.
Reposa accused Hohengarten of abusing her office by wrongfully restricting his questions in jury selection. A transcript shows Hohengarten objected to Reposa asking potential jurors if they could assess the full range of punishment — which on the low end could mean zero days in jail — if they found his client guilty.
Hohengarten declared a mistrial and informed Reposa that another judge would determine if his conduct met the standard for contempt. Judge Paul Davis on Tuesday did find Reposa in contempt, saying he crossed the line by telling Hohengarten it was difficult to get a fair trial in her court.
Davis has yet to sentence Reposa, who faces up to 180 days in jail.