In a letter to the Governor dated September 23, 2013, Williamson County District Judge Ken Anderson resigned his position, effective immediately. Anderson is currently facing charges for withholding evidence in the Michael Morton trial that led to Morton spending 25 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. Governor Perry thanked Anderson for his service and wrote, “I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.” Next week, Anderson faces a civil trial, where the state bar seeks disciplinary action against Anderson, which could include losing his law license.
In a statement release late Tuesday afternoon Anderson said:
I have spent the past 28 years as an elected official. It has been an incredibly rewarding experience as Williamson County has transitioned from a sleepy rural county to the dynamic county it is today. I greatly appreciate the support I have received from the public, the Bar, the law enforcement community, judiciary, and other public officials. There comes a time when every public official must decide that it is time to leave public life. For me and my family, that time is now. For the foreseeable future I will be focused solely on making the transition into private life. As I begin this transition, I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make our community the great place it is to live, work, and raise a family.
Anderson was the District Attorney in 1987 who prosecuted Michael Morton for the murder of his wife. Morton was freed from prison after DNA evidence pointed to someone else.
Morton's attorneys, Barry Scheck with the Innocence Project and John Raley have released the following statement:
Judge Ken Anderson's resignation is long overdue and we have little doubt that the voters would not have reelected him in next year's contest. He still admits no wrongdoing and shows no real remorse, claiming it was "the system," not Ken Anderson, that failed Michael Morton.
We look forward to an adjudication of the pending disciplinary action brought by the state bar as well as the pending criminal charges. Judge Anderson deserves a fair trial but if there are findings against him in either proceeding we would expect that appropriate penalties be imposed.