Judge Harris Wants Prosecutor Off His Case

Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 5:34 pm
By: News On 6

The felony case against a Tulsa judge heats up.  Judge Jesse Harris is fighting back after charges of indecent exposure were filed.  He's going after the Washington County District Attorney assigned to his case.  News On 6 anchor Latoya Silmon reports he wants the prosecutor disqualified.

Judge Jesse Harris accuses Washington County District Attorney Rick Esser of intentional misconduct.  He filed this motion on Monday to have him removed from the case.

In the filing, Harris claims he has evidence of intentional misconduct and that the DA filed criminal charges against him only after he refused to resign.  Harris points to an April 11th and April 18th meeting he had with Esser and others.

The first was several weeks before charges were filed claiming Judge Harris fondled himself in front of an ex-girlfriend and one of her friends.

In the motion, Judge Harris claims if he didn't resign promptly, Esser told him "the press would get a hold of this."

Harris says District Attorney Esser followed through on that threat and provided the Tulsa World with confidential police reports relating to the incident before the charges were filed April 24th.

In the filing, Harris also claims police released a graphic affidavit to the paper to embarrass him as payback for not stepping down.

Calls to Washington County DA Rick Esser's office by The News On 6 were not returned.

In the meantime, Judge Harris is no longer presiding over felony cases since he faces two felony counts himself.

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04/29/08  Judge Charged With Indecent Exposure Back At Work