Attorneys for Judge Cortez's Ex Say Failed Abuse Case is the District Attorney's Fault

Thumbnail image for CarlosCortez.jpg
Judge Carlos Cortez
It's not easy to call the cops on your boyfriend when he's a powerful judge, but in the beginning, it seemed that the law was on Maggie Strother's side.

Dallas Police Department officers visited the Uptown condo of state District Judge Carlos Cortez on December 28. There, Strother showed them some ugly red marks around her neck, according to the police report, and said that Cortez had choked her, pulled her hair and threatened to kill her while leaning her over the edge of his balcony.

The cops arrested Cortez on a family violence assault charge. They presented their findings to the District Attorney's Office, which accepted the case and handed it to a grand jury. But it wasn't until Monday, after the grand jury declined to issue an indictment in the case, that Strother's attorney accused authorities of botching the case. That very same district attorney who agreed to take the case, Strother's attorney claims, was actually biased in favor of Cortez.

The reasoning for that argument is simple. The district attorney represents itself in a bunch of cases pending before Cortez's court. Therefore, the district attorney was biased in favor of Cortez.

"Craig Watkins and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office failed to disclose the fact that he/it represents the State of Texas or the Dallas County District's Attorney Office in fourteen civil cases" pending before Judge Cortez, according to a motion filed yesterday by attorney Ted Steinke.

Steinke charges that "the fact that such a blatant conflict of interest was not disclosed by Craig Watkins is a violation of her [Strother's] due process rights."

Since grand jury proceedings are secret, we don't know how well the case was handled when it got to the jurors, but Steinke blames the no-bill on the district attorney's prejudice. He writes in his motion that "the Dallas County District Attorney's Office has publically [sic] stated that the case will not be resubmitted to another grand jury."

Cortez has also claimed to be a victim of prejudice. Shortly after his no-bill last week, he went with his attorney to the press, accusing the police of mishandling the case. They released footage casting major doubt on Strother's credibility. One video shows a visibly intoxicated Strother swatting at Cortez as he drives. She then opens the car door of the moving vehicle and falls out. "Why did you throw me out?" Strother asks Cortez.

Strother and her attorney then counter-attacked, releasing recordings of a phone call with a man who they say is Cortez. In the call, the man angrily tells Strother that she's "disgusting" and threatens her with some naked pictures.

"Those pictures are going on the Internet," the man says in the recording.

My Voice Nation Help

Isn't the bigger question here "Why is a Judge, that is elected to represent the citizens of Dallas County, conducting himself in this manner? Isn't he supposed to hold himself to higher morals & standards?" What a shocker, another crooked politician.

bvckvs topcommenter

This wasn't about conflict of interest.

Among other things, the crazy bitch was caught on video jumping out of a moving car, and then blaming her actions on the driver.

No reasonable judge or jury could have taken her at her word of honor that this judge was the crazy one.


Hode on...... is this the same Steinke that represented Don Hill?


Put em both in a phone booth with tequila and knives.


1)  The videos also showed Strogher after the alleged attack with no red marks on her neck.  If the police report is correct, then they must have come after the attack but before the police arrived, which is evidence that they might have been self-inflicted.  Coupled with the video showing Strogher is bat-shit crazy and willing to inflict harm on herself just for the opportunity to blame Cortez, and I don't think the DA could in good faith believe that it has any chance of proving its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  The no-bill was undoubtedly the result the prosecutor wanted because the case wasn't any good.

2)   All the phone call that Strogher points to proves is that Judge Cortez is a dick.  If you've met him, you didn't need to hear that recording to know he is a dick, but hey, if this is news to you, consider yourself informed.  There is a reason why Cortez is with a bat-shit crazy lady willing to hurt herself and who has rather obvious substance abuse problems, and it's because a normal woman wouldn't put up with his shit.  Strogher is in the same boat because hot and crazy isn't long term relationship material.  They were made for each other.  

3)  Strogher has no "due process" rights in the prosecution of Cortez, which isn't something I'm necessarily a fan of but simply is the way the criminal justice system works.  There are very few rights afforded to victims, and most of them simply give the victim the right to some information about her case.    

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I think I'll need to see the pics before I make up my mind about this case.

*googles furiously*


I still maintain this should be settled on the Jerry Springer show.

Oh, and be sure to let us know if and when the pics get posted.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter


Short answer: No.


What the hell is a "phone booth"?

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@ruddski  nah, this is perfect for Divorce Court, Judge Toller would have fun with this

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter


LOL. Imagine describing them to your grandkids: "It was sorta' like . . . Well, like a stationary automobile where you could make telephone calls . . ."

"Grampa? What's a telephone call?"

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