BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Bastrop County Justice of the Peace Donna Thomson was indicted this week on a misdemeanor charge for failing to give her name and information after colliding with, and damaging, an unattended vehicle in 2015, according to court records obtained by KXAN.
Thomson, who presides over Precinct 1, allegedly hit a 2015 Audi on Oct. 10, 2015, according to court records. The indictment was filed May 16, 2017. She has been charged with “duty on striking an unattended vehicle,” which is a Class B misdemeanor, county records show.
- You can view the indictment here.
Thomson’s attorney, Phillip Slaughter, said she would continue to work as a Justice of the Peace as the case is resolved. He said Thomson has a pretrial court date in June, and “we are going to trial.”
Thomson caused more than $200 of damage to the Audi, the indictment states. She “intentionally and knowingly [failed] to immediately stop and locate the operator or owner of the unattended vehicle and give that person the name and address of the operator and the owner of the vehicle that struck the unattended vehicle or leave in a conspicuous place in, or securely attach in a plainly visible way to, the unattended vehicle a written notice” with her information, the indictment states.
Bastrop District Attorney Bryan Goertz, along with any other assistant criminal district attorneys of Bastrop County, have recused themselves from the matter. In the signed recusal, Goertz says Thomson is an elected official and “there may exist an appearance of impropriety should the Bastrop District Attorney’s Office be the prosecutor.”
The Attorney General’s Office has taken over the case, and Deputy Attorney General Tom Cloudt has been assigned to it, according to court records.
Indictments are typically reserved for felony charges. Slaughter said it is unusual but not surprising that there was an indictment for the misdemeanor charge.
“She is an elected official and so the Attorney General’s office does not want to have any appearance of impropriety in charging, so they take it to an impartial jury and let them do it,” Slaughter said.
Precinct 1 covers the central portion of Bastrop County, including the city of Bastrop.