Wooten, meanwhile, calls the district attorney's investigation of her payback for defeating longtime judge Charles Sandoval.
, who is currently suspended with pay, gained her judgeship two years ago after an expensive campaign to unseat longtime GOP incumbent Charles Sandoval
Charges allege a conspiracy and quid pro quo involving campaign money from a couple with a grudge against Sandoval
because of rulings in their child-custody case.
The judge in the case, Charles Sandoval
, had awarded primary custody of the girls to their mother and issued rulings costing the Carys hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In 2008, Sandoval
ran for re-election.
After a three-day bench trial in October 2006, Sandoval
named Jennifer Cary the sole managing conservator for the girls.
Then in June 2007, Sandoval
granted Jennifer Cary's motion for sanctions, finding that one of David Cary's motions "was filed frivolously or designed to harass" his ex-wife.
ordered both David Cary and his attorney to pay $50,000 to Jennifer Cary.
In the summer of 2007, as the Carys were filing motions in court, Steve Spencer was looking for someone to run against Sandoval
, who'd never drawn an opponent since taking office in 1997.
"He said they thought I was a good candidate," Puhl said, "and he was encouraging me to run against Charles Sandoval
Earlier this year, McCraw found that Sandoval's
2006 order was not in the children's best interests.
- Judge who heard the custody case before his
later complained to officials of his
suspicions about Wooten's campaign.
Dec. 1, 2006: District Judge Charles Sandoval signs an order giving primary custody of the girls to Jennifer Cary despite a mediated settlement for joint custody.
Roach, who conducted an investigation into Wooten
's election practices to the 380th District Court that ousted incumbent Charles Sandoval
before handing the case to a special prosecutor from the Texas
Attorney General's Office, claimed the questionable indictments were made by a grand jury selected by Wooten.