- Associated Press - Friday, September 23, 2016

TYLER, Texas (AP) - An East Texas county judge charged with holding illegal closed meetings during 2014 has resigned amid a sexting investigation.

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct on Friday announced Smith County Judge Joel Baker’s resignation takes effect Nov. 4 or earlier if his criminal case is resolved.

Baker was suspended without pay in June after being indicted on three misdemeanor counts of violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.

A commission statement says the sexting investigation alleged Baker in February exchanged sexually graphic messages with a woman while he was in Austin for a commission meeting, and later in College Station at a judicial conference.

Baker, who was Smith County judge since 2007, signed the resignation agreement Tuesday and the commission dropped its disciplinary investigation. He’s barred from future Texas judicial posts.




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