First, Presiding Judge of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller didn’t know she was stinking rich, and then, she simply forgot to report it as required by law. And even though she didn’t know about it, she apologized. Even though she had done nothing wrong.

From the Austin American Statesman’s Focal Point blog, Chuck Lindell:

Sharon Keller, presiding judge of the state’s highest criminal court, has been fined $100,000 by the Texas Ethics Commission for failing to fully report her income and property holdings on annual personal financial statements.

It was the largest civil penalty imposed by the commission, according to Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel for the agency.

The statements for 2006 and 2007 failed to list eight properties, valued at around $2.8 million; between 100 and 499 shares of stock; income from rents, interest and dividends totaling at least $183,000 over the two years; 20 certificates of deposit; and one money market fund, according to a commission order.

Loved the comment section. First, from Benyth, a good question:

Why is this person still on the bench, or for that matter, even in the bar??? This is just another example of her flagrant disregard for the rules and laws of this state.

Right after that, from Hall, comes the hit-the-nail-on-the-head answer:

Because she keeps getting elected by huge majorities cause she is ‘tough on crime’, a Repub, and none of them give a damn about what us left-leaning Commie pinkos in Austin did to this good woman.

So, when is $100K a drop in the bucket? Two part answer: (a) when you’re a multi-millionaire, and (b) when it’s a fine imposed for the very least of your ethical lapses.

[Hat Tip: Grits]