HOUSTON - A former Harris County Prosecutor fired for allegedly leaking information about a prominent Houstonian is now running for judge and telling voters she "did nothing wrong".
"I knew it was going to come out, at some point, and I think it will backfire," said Kate Ferrell, a U.S. Navy veteran and former cop hoping to be elected judge of the 185th District Court.
The "revelation" to which Ferrell refers is information obtained by FOX 26 regarding her 2016 termination from the post of Assistant Harris County District Attorney.
MORE POLITICAL NEWS
"(Ferrell's) access of the H-C-D-A database for a purely personal purpose and release of information from the database to individuals outside the office was unprofessional and demonstrated a complete lack of judgment," wrote Belinda Hill, who served as First Assistant Harris County District Attorney in 2016.
When contacted by FOX 26, "candidate" Ferrell was eager to respond.
"Yes, I was proudly fired from the District Attorney's Office. They did give me the option to resign. I turned that option down because I said I didn't do anything wrong, and I said if you want me out this office, fire me," said Ferrell.
MORE HOUSTON NEWS
Ferrell says she accessed and shared the mug shot and probable cause statement involving a prominent Houston attorney charged with Driving While Intoxicated.
She says both were "public records" readily available to any citizen who requests them.
"I didn't do anything unethical. I didn't do anything wrong. I simply followed what we've always done at that office. If an interesting case happened over the weekend, we would all look into it see what was going on," said Ferrell.
Ferrell identified Tony Buzbee as the defendant whose case file she had accessed and said the well-known litigator contacted her after she was fired, sending a photo and a string of unsolicited texts in which he called her "dumb", "a fool" and "a loser".
SIGN UP FOR THE FOX 26 NEWSLETTER
"Look, I'm a Navy veteran. I'm a former police officer. You know I have a pretty thick skin, but it was definitely bullying text messages where he was laughing about the clout that he had. There was a definite threat at the end where he told me to move, it would be in my best interest. He laughed that he was happy he didn't have to worry about salaries. I guess, that he's above having to make money. It was very ugly and bullying and harassing in tone," said Ferrell.
The DWI case against Buzbee was ultimately dismissed and he offered FOX 26 no comment on this latest revelation.
DOWNLOAD THE FOX 26 NEWS APP FOR THE LATEST ALERTS
Meantime, judicial candidate Ferrell is offering her own assessment of what actually transpired back in 2016.
"When you have somebody of his wealth and status who is a major campaign donor, you get special treatment. So, of course, this was pay for play politics and I was the scapegoat and victim of it," said Ferrell.
Ferrell is facing incumbent 185th District Court Judge Jason Luong and prosecutor Andrea Beall in the March 1 Democratic primary.