KILLEEN — Bell County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Place 1 Daryl Peters had another complaint filed against him — this time in a Bell County small claims court.

A Killeen resident, Anthony Kendrick, filed a petition Friday against Peters.

Before that, Peters — who has been in office for less than six months — had a judicial misconduct claim filed against him in July by a Waco attorney.

Kendrick, who filed the case in the small claims court of Bell County Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke, claimed Peters cheated him out of $2,300.

The petition that claimed theft by deception said Kendrick paid Peters for football referees, only to find out later that the referees “did the event for free.”  

Kendrick said he confronted Peters and emailed him to ask for the return of the fees. Peters reportedly refused and told the man to “file your paperwork,” the petition said.

Peters reportedly claimed the exchange of money was a cash transaction and said, “… you can’t prove you gave me money.”

Kendrick said three people witnessed the transfer of funds for the football officials, and the plaintiff requested the money’s return as relief.

The citation was to be served by personal service at Peters’ home or work.

Peters was not available when a Telegram reporter went to his office Friday and Tuesday and did not return several phone calls from last week.

Bell County Judge David Blackburn previously said he didn’t believe the Bell County Commissioners Court had jurisdiction over the judicial misconduct claim filed in January against Peters.  

The judicial misconduct claim

Waco lawyer Doug Froneberger filed a claim with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct in July. Froneberger said Peters demanded in July that he come to Peters’ court for a case he was handling — but Froneberger’s wife was hospitalized with terminal cancer.

Froneberger requested a different court date for his client, who was the debtor in a creditor/debtor court case. He was told he had to appear in court to file a motion for continuance. Then Froneberger asked for a hearing by phone, only to be refused again and ordered to appear in court.

He also filed a motion the same day as the judicial misconduct claim that asked Peters to remove himself as judge in the case because of the complaint.

The issue was resolved when the opposing attorney filed a nonsuit and the court dropped the case.

Precinct history

The Bell County Commissioners Court unanimously appointed Peters, a Democrat, to fill the last two years of Claudia Brown’s unexpired term for Precinct 4, Place 1. A motion to include candidates from other parties in the selection process failed by a 3-2 vote. 

In February, Brown was ousted from her elected position when a jury unanimously decided she shouldn’t be in office because she had engaged in official misconduct; was grossly incompetent or negligent; or had developed physical or mental defects since her election.