TYLER, Texas — 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.