Posted January 10, 2019, 2:23 pm CST
A suspended lawyer who went to jail for barratry plans to put his jail time to good use in the Texas legislature.
Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds was released from the Montgomery County Jail last Friday, then sworn in to his legislative seat Jan. 8.
He had been re-elected while running unopposed in jail and was released after serving four months of a yearlong misdemeanor sentence because of good behavior. The Fort Bend Star, the Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle have coverage.
Reynolds previously told the Fort Bend Star he plans to use his jail experience “to highlight the continued racial inequities within our criminal justice systems.” While in jail, he filed several bills, including 21 in one day, as well as two resolutions proposing state constitutional amendments.
Among the bills are proposals to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and to allow online voter registration.
Reynolds was one of eight Houston-area lawyers accused of paying a runner to recruit accident victims for personal injury cases.
He was initially convicted of misdemeanor barratry in November 2014, but the verdict was thrown out because jurors had discussed no contest pleas in related cases. He was retried and convicted of five misdemeanor barratry counts in late 2015.
Legal ethics regulators are seeking to disbar Reynolds and have scheduled a hearing in the case for Jan. 25.
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