As chairman of the Federal Judicial Evaluation Committee that helps select U.S. district judges for Texas, Dan Hedges forged a reputation for assessing quality candidates in a nonpartisan and uncontroversial way. So it was ironic when Hedges and his wife, Adele, a longtime justice on Houston’s 1st Court of Appeals, recently landed themselves in a judicial imbroglio. Hedges participated in a July 29 press conference defending one of Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign ads on the same day his wife interviewed at the Governor’s Office for the 1st Court’s chief justice position. Perry’s ad alleges Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tony Sanchez was connected to a drug money laundering investigation through his Laredo-based Tesoro Savings and Loan.

Mark Sanders, a Sanchez campaign official, calls the Hedges arrangement a sweetheart deal with Perry. Ray Sullivan, who works for Perry’s campaign, calls those allegations untrue and insulting. And Hedges, a partner in Houston’s Porter & Hedges, says there’s nothing sinister about the coincidental timing.

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