By Christopher Sherman - Associated Press
Judge Migdalia Lopez of the 197th District Court had assured lawyers through Friday that she would be there to handle her docket Monday, but instead left lawyers and their clients in the lurch. Court administrator Gloria Garcia-Puente said court was scheduled for Tuesday and today as well, but Lopez would not be there.
“I think she looked at it from a practical point of view. If she went over there, the district attorney would more than likely file some sort of recusal or try to take advantage of the situation,” Rodriguez said.
The eight indictments handed up by the grand jury last week, including some against Cheney, former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., have drawn the nation's attention to an already dysfunctional courthouse. Guerra has been battling with Lopez and District Clerk Gilbert Lozano, who was also indicted, for years.
Defendants for routine cases had come to the courthouse from across the state and as far away as Indiana. There were more than 60 cases on Monday's docket, Garcia-Puente said.
Lopez's absence forced the cases to be rescheduled and means some defendants will spend the holiday in jail.
“I am financially broken,” as a result of the so-called “wasted trip,” Kintner told KGBT-TV.
His 41-hour trip that spanned 1,700 miles had to be put on hold for the second time, leaving him stranded in the county.