FFRF Attorney: Judge Rogers receives sanction for Bible verses

Published: Mar. 16, 2016 at 10:31 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 16, 2016 at 10:53 PM CDT
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Freedom from Religion Foundation attorney Sam Grover. (Source: KLTV staff)
Freedom from Religion Foundation attorney Sam Grover. (Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff)
(Source: KLTV staff)

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The State Commission on Judicial Conduct (SCJC) has issued a sanction against a Smith County judge,  according to the attorney who filed the initial complaint.

Attorney Sam Grover, representing the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) in Wisconsin, filed a complaint against Judge Randall Rogers in August.

RELATED: Freedom From Religion Foundation issues complaint against judge in forced marriage case

The complaint was filed after a KLTV 7 investigative report exposed claims that Rogers ordered Josten Bundy of Tyler to write Bible verses 25 times a day as part of his criminal probation.

Rogers also faced scrutiny for ordering Bundy to marry his then girlfriend or face 15 days of jail time.

SEE: Judge sentences East Texas man to get married or face jail time

The details of the sanction are private and not published by SCJC, but as the complaining party Grover said he received a letter from SCJC confirming that the reprimand against Rogers had been issued.

"It is rare for the judge to get formally sanctioned by the commission," Grover said.  "I think the fact that [the SCJC] did that here speaks volumes about how outrageous Judge Rogers' conduct was."

Bundy's probation records showed that he was required to write "If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it" (Proverbs 26:27) and submit it regularly to the authorities.

Grover does not represent Bundy, and used media reports to prepare the complaint.  The FFRF organization touts its work at keeping religion and government separate in states across the nation.

"FFRF is very satisfied with the private sanctions that were issued in this case and we consider this matter resolved," said Grover. "Obviously, it's a constant struggle to make sure that government officials are abiding by the Constitution by not promoting their personal religious beliefs while acting in their official capacity."

The SCJC, according to its website, has the power to take the following action on a complaint: case dismissal, order of additional education, private sanction, public sanction or suspension.

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