Precinct 4 JP receives state reprimand

Egan sanctioned by commission for 2017 incidents, subsequent false testimony

Bill Spinks
Midlothian Mirror
Steve Egan

Incumbent Ellis County Precinct 4 Justice of the Peace Steve Egan has been reprimanded by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in relation to a 2017 incident involving the firing of his clerk and a confrontation with the clerk’s husband, the Ellis County Precinct 4 constable, as well as providing misleading testimony following the incident.

In addition to the reprimand, Egan was ordered to undergo four hours of “additional education in the areas of sensitivity and diversity training, human resources, and personnel management.” It is not known whether Egan has completed this training at this time.

Egan, a former Midlothian police officer, left the department in 2010 and was elected that same year to his first term as Precinct 4 JP. Egan did not file for re-election for a fourth term and will not be on the ballot in the March 1 Republican primary. His term will expire on Dec. 31.

Running to replace Egan as Precinct 4 JP are three Republicans:  Cody McKinney, Louis Ponder and Danell Winter. The GOP primary winner will face Democrat Robert E. Shelton in the November general election.

According to the state commission reprimand, Egan was sanctioned for making untrue statements about his former clerk, Melva Jones; provoking a verbal altercation with her husband, Constable Mike Jones, the day after Mrs. Jones’ firing; and giving false sworn testimony about the confrontation.

On Aug. 16, 2017, according to the reprimand, Egan terminated the employment of his court clerk, Melva Jones, and in the process made statements to other court employees about Mrs. Jones that were untrue.

The following day, an altercation occurred between Egan and Constable Jones in their shared office space in the Precinct 4 headquarters in Midlothian. Egan secretly recorded video of the interaction on his cell phone. According to the reprimand, Egan provoked a verbal response by entering the constable’s personal office and depositing his wife’s personal belongings on the floor.

The reprimand also states that Egan had directed his clerk, Bernadine Mejia, to contact law enforcement before the incident and report Constable Jones as causing a disturbance, a request that was not on the video recording. Officers determined that no crime had been committed and left the office.

Subsequently, Egan was deposed on Oct. 31, 2017 and again on Dec. 20, 2017 by the Ellis County District Attorney as part of a separate civil action against Constable Jones, who at the time was facing criminal charges that were dropped in April 2018.

In those depositions, the state commission reprimand states, Egan swore he directed Mejia to call law enforcement for assistance because of and in response to Jones’ disruptive behavior. However, upon cross examination in the December 2017 hearing and again during a jury trial in a civil removal action against Jones in April 2018, Egan admitted that the call to police was made before Jones had said one word to him.

Jones eventually filed a criminal perjury complaint against Egan. In May 2020, attorney pro tem Mike Howard announced that while it was his conclusion there was sufficient evidence to bring a case against Egan before a grand jury for aggravated perjury, due to the imposition of COVID-19 restrictions and his own miscalculation of the relevant limitations period, he would not be pursuing criminal charges against Egan.

Constable and Mrs. Jones filed a civil lawsuit against Egan and others. In 2020, the parties settled the lawsuit, with a total payment of $250,000 to the Joneses.