San Jacinto Co. judge indicted in alleged break-in of county clerk's office

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San Jacinto Co. judge arrested after indictment in alleged break-in of clerk's office

A judge in San Jacinto County has been indicted in an alleged break-in of a county clerk's office last year.

It was a walk from the jail to the courthouse that stripped now-suspended San Jacinto County Judge John Lovett Jr. of his office in the courthouse and his keys to it.

Judge John Lovett Jr. was arrested Monday following the grand jury indictment in a felony burglary case that allegedly took place at County Clerk Dawn Wright's office.

When he left, Lovett did not want to talk to on camera about the case against him, but later approached and offered this statement.

"In the full measure of time, I will be found not guilty of these ridiculous charges," he said. "I find it suspect the timing of this indictment. An incident that supposedly happened close to a year ago and they wait a month before a run-off election to bring it before a grand jury."

In July 2017, the elected official told Eyewitness News he entered Wright's office with a master key after hours with no employees present.

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He's in a runoff for Justice of the Peace Position One but is now charged with burglary, tampering with a government record, and forgery for allegedly breaking into the county clerk's office in July, using a file stamp and setting off an alarm.

"It's a big mess," said Sheriff Greg Capers. "It's got to be uncomfortable for him. I know it's for me. It's uncomfortable for my department and everybody involved in this case. "

After the incident Lovett dismissed the controversy as small-town politics at their worst, making no apologies. When asked whether he had the right to enter the office after hours, Lovett said "yes."

"The clerk of the court is subservient to the court. If I need to go into the office of the court, I think I have every right to do so," said Lovett. "The sheriff's office is investigating the alarm call. I don't believe they are investigating any crimes. I don't believe there was any crime committed. The clerk said she's disappointed in me, but I'm likewise disappointed in her. The clerk's office exists to serve the court and the court needed her. She's being derelict in her duty to not only the court but to our taxpayers and our citizens."

Lovett has been charged with burglary and tampering with government records, both felony counts, and a misdemeanor forgery charge.
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investigationpoliticsburglarybreak-inSan Jacinto County
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