AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Supreme Court has overturned a libel judgment against two South Texas newspapers because the trial judge in the case admitted taking bribes.
Four men sued the Brownsville Herald and the Valley Morning Star over a 2008 campaign ad for Cameron County district attorney. The ad identified them as people arrested but never prosecuted for alleged child abuse.
District Judge Abel Limas rejected the newspapers' attempt to block the lawsuit, but later admitted taking $8,000 to rule against them. Limas awaits sentencing on federal racketeering charges.
The Supreme Court said Friday that taking the bribe meant Limas did not rule on the merits of the case and his decision was invalid. The Supreme Court didn't rule on the merits of the original lawsuit, which has not gone to trial.