The state's top criminal appeals court judge has amended her personal financial statement to disclose more than $2.4 million in property and income that she had not previously reported to the state, as required by law.
In a sworn statement filed in Austin earlier this week, Sharon Keller said she omitted more than two dozen properties, bank accounts, income sources and business directorships because her elderly father in Dallas had not told her about them.
"My father, Jack Keller, over a number of years has acquired and managed, without input from me, all of these properties," Keller wrote in a filing with the Texas Ethics Commission meant to correct the annual report she made in April 2008.
Andrew Wheat, research director of Texans for Public Justice, an Austin watchdog group that filed the complaints over Keller's nondisclosures, suggested that the judge would not be swayed by others' pleas of sloppiness.
"If a defense attorney in a death penalty case before Judge Keller's court filed briefs as carelessly as Keller filed her financials, the client in question already would have been executed," he said.
Keller, a former Dallas County prosecutor, is part of a well-known East Dallas family that operates a popular chain of drive-in hamburger restaurants.
Her father has formed more than a dozen real estate companies. Ownership of many of those companies is divided among his four children, with their father serving as business manager.
"Her father completely controlled a huge aspect of her financial life," Shack said.