Embattled Brown County Attorney performed legal duties with suspended law license
BROWNWOOD, Texas - Brown County Attorney Shane Britton was practicing law with a suspended license for more than two weeks.
Over the weekend KTXS learned the embattled county attorney, who's currently under a federal investigation for corruption and bribery for a donation program that once operated in his office, was illegally performing his legal duties.
According to the State Bar of Texas, Britton was administratively suspended, effective Sept.1, for unpaid dues.
"It is a disciplinary violation to practice while administratively suspended," said Clair Mock, public affairs counsel with the State Bar of Texas.
When approached with the information at Monday's Brown County Commissioners Court meeting, Brown County Judge Ray West said he had no idea of the suspension.
"I didn't know anything about it," West said.
It was only after KTXS alerted county commissioners that Britton immediately took care of the issue.
Britton declined an on-camera interview, but issued this statement.
"The annual State Bar of Texas dues for all attorneys and judges employed by Brown County are paid for by the county," Britton said. "My dues that were due by September 1 were inadvertently not paid this year. This was merely a clerical mistake and has been corrected. I am eligible to practice law immediately."
While his dues are paid, under the state bar's rules, a lawyer is not allowed to try any cases with a suspended license.
"If somebody were to file a complaint about an attorney practicing law with he or she being administratively suspended, we would then conduct an investigation to determine what exactly happened," said Mock, who works in the state bar's Office for the Chief Disciplinary Counsel.
KTXS discovered on Sept. 5 Britton tried several misdemeanor cases inside the courtroom of Brown County-Court-At-Law Judge Sam Moss.
Moss said he canceled court Monday after KTXS broke the news of Britton's suspended law license.
He also said he's looking at his legal options at the moment to determine what the law requires he do in such a situation, and if the cases Britton tried while suspended should be voided.