State Representative Ron Reynolds was released from prison Friday and, following his November re-election, sworn in today as a member of the 2019 Texas legislature.
Ron Reynolds: from the big house to the state house
Reynolds, a Democrat from Missouri City, turned himself into Montgomery County authorities in September to serve a one year term. He had been convicted in 2015 for illegally soliciting clients for his law practice (a misdemeanor commonly known as “ambulance chasing”).
The lawmaker was released early from the county prison on January 4th, just four months into his sentence. His term had been reduced by “good credit time” and voluntarily revoking his appeal bond.
The timing of his release was perfect for Reynolds – just four days before the opening of the 86th Texas Legislature.
Convicted of a misdemeanor and not a felony, Reynolds has remained eligible to serve in the house.
He ran unopposed for reelection to represent District 27 in November.
Reynolds hits the ground running
Reynolds was sworn in for his fifth term this morning. Even though he had been a free man for only four days he was well prepared. He has already filed 21 bills for the upcoming session, which he did from his jail cell.
His proposed legislation includes state perks for small businesses, authorizing and regulating medical marijuana, amending the labor code increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and allowing electronic voter registration.
He has also proposed two amendments to the state constitution, one for legalizing marijuana, and one which would require the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate alleged police crimes.
According to a Facebook post by Reynolds yesterday, he has also attended an event with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announcing the plans for the upcoming 2019 MLK Day parade.
Problems still ahead
Despite Reynolds’ proactive and positive start to his life outside of prison, he still faces serious challenges ahead.
The Commission for Lawyer Discipline will be arguing for his disbarment before the Texas Supreme Court on January 25th.
Reynolds is also one of 342 Texas officials with outstanding ethics fines, topping the long list with $52,500 owed to the state.