A Tarrant County judge indicted Wednesday called the felony charges against her “a twisted political vendetta.”
Jacquelyn Wright, who has been a justice of the peace for 27 years in Tarrant County, was charged with theft of service and tampering with a government record.
On Thursday, Wright called the indictment a “completely bogus charge” in an email to a Star-Telegram reporter.
“FOR PRESS RELEASE,” she wrote in the email. “TARRANT COUNTY DA INDICTS SENIOR CITIZEN FOR PAYING HER TAXES?”
“I owe the Tax Assessor nothing. My property taxes are paid in full. This is nothing but a sick and twisted political vendetta. I would love to tell you the whole story, but my attorney says talk to him. I defer to his wisdom,” she wrote.
Wright’s attorney, Miles Brissette, sent the following statement made by Wright:
“The District Attorney’s Office has presented their version of the events which resulted in a grand jury indictment. I welcome my upcoming opportunity to present my side to the citizens of Tarrant County. I have spent my professional adult life ensuring that everyone before me has received a just and fair hearing. I look forward to the same opportunity.”
On Friday, Wright wrote in an email that her commission was pulled from the Judicial Ethics Commission because of the indictment.
“No hearing allowed, no questions asked. No job effective immediately,” she wrote. “Guilty without trial, proof, hearings or evidence. Darndest thing I’ve ever seen.”
Wright is accused of falsifying tax exemption claims from October 2010 to January 2018, according to court records.
On Tuesday, a grand jury voted to indict Wright on one count of theft of service and three counts of tampering with a government record.
According to the charges, Wright falsely applied for and received a residential homestead exemption in December 2015, December 2016 and January 2018 for a home where she did not reside.
Wright maintained her innocence in an email Friday.
“I’ve done nothing wrong,” Wright wrote. “I haven’t filed double homesteads. I owe no taxes. That’s all I can say for now.”
Wright is also accused of unlawfully taking more than $2,500 but less than $30,000 worth of services in Tarrant County labor and utilities.
Tampering with government records and theft of service are felonies punishable by up to two years in a state jail.
The Tarrant County district attorney’s office began an investigation of Wright by its Public Integrity Unit after receiving information concerning potential violations.