Harris County Grand Jury Reform

It has been widely reported that Harris County DA’s office decided to send the HPD homicide investigation to Montgomery County DA Brett Ligon. While this is not a crime in and of itself, Houstonians deserve a complete and independent investigation by a source free from connections to HPD. I am sure that Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson would argue that she would have been criticized if Harris County had retained the investigation or farmed it out; but, was it really necessary to send the investigation to the district attorney with direct connections to the Houston Police Officers’ Union? This is a fundamental question of judgment.

The Chronicle has it right when they call for an independent investigation of the Police. The officers themselves should want their names cleared by an independent investigation. Think about the crime lab investigation performed by Michael Bromwich, an independent entity.

The investigation cannot remain with the Harris County District Attorney’s office because Ray Hunt Anderson Photothe current appointed district attorney, Devon Anderson, has a relationship with the Houston Police Officer’s Union. This group was instrumental in generating an opportunity for Mike Anderson to be elected. Additionally, we know that Devon has represented at least one member of the Houston Police Department. After Mike took office, the remaining Chad Holley cases were delegated to special prosecutors because Devon represented one of the police officer defendants.

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Mike Anderson whispering to his 4 time appointed grand jury foreman Patricia Pollard, and the grand jury foreman of the 185th grand jury.

Then, Allen Blakemore’s connection to everything evil cannot be overlooked. He served as Mike’s political consultant. He is currently Devon’s consultant. He is Brett Ligon’s consultant. He has a relationship with the police union. It is public record now that Allen Blakemore knows how to use a grand jury for a political purpose: think 185th. That evildoing involved Judge Mike Anderson’s longtime grand juror, Patricia Pollard, along with Blakemore, Judge Susan Brown, and many others. A picture is worth a thousand words.

While this group is willing to use a grand jury (along with special prosecutors, the District Attorney’s office, and judges) for a political purpose, the real issue is the grand jury system. The major metropolitan areas in Texas have done away with the grand jury commissioner system. Not only is it unnecessary, it is unjust. The commissioner system allows judges to pick their friends as commissioners and grand jurors. It permits people like Pollard to sit on multiple grand juries for the same judge. We know that she served as Mike Anderson’s grand jury foreman for four grand jury terms.

There is a just alternative: selecting grand jurors from the jury pool. A few Harris County District Court judges have pulled their grand jurors from the jury pool; so, selection from the jury pool can certainly be done in Harris County. Of course, this system would not allow judges like Susan Brown to put together a political grand jury. It would also stop shenanigans like Judge Marc Brown, Susan’s husband, appearing before his wife’s grand jury without a prosecutor. And, a grand jury from the jury pool would easily sniff out “special” prosecutors like Jim Mount and Stephen St. Martin.Screenshot 2014-04-13 10.19.07

In 2004, the Houston Chronicle pointed out the ethical dilemma of the grand jury commissioner system. The system was designed for actors with integrity. Without people of integrity, the system fails.

Devon Anderson, and the Texas Rangers Investigation

 Chandler HPD Photo

The Harris County District Attorney’s office has a dilemma, compounded by a conflict, in search of a guy name Brady. A month or so ago, there were rumblings around town that a Houston Police Department homicide detective was under investigation. On Friday, Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. called this (former) police officer a liar and announced that the officer was fired. Of course, bad news always hits on a Friday.

Back on March 5, Jeremy Rogalski from Channel 11 reported that the homicide detective accused of sloppy work, Ryan Chandler, had received identical performance reviews. All four of Chandler’s performance reviews from 2011 and 2012 were “virtually identical.” They even included the same misspelling: “investigattions.”

On Friday, James Pinkerton reported in the Houston Chronicle that at least 24 homicide cases in the city of Houston were not investigated. Houston City Councilman Ed Gonzalez, a former HPD homicide detective, was recently in possession of pending homicide files. He told Pinkerton that he took the files with him when he left HPD for Houston City Council in 2009. Now we know that seven other officers from the homicide division have been disciplined for playing a role in the failure to investigate murder cases in Houston, Texas.

There is no question that, even at the outset, this was obviously a huge scandal. The actions of local law enforcement and a shared political consultant, Allen Blakemore, have turned the scandal into actions that require investigations by the Texas Rangers and a special prosecutor. It is not surprising to most that Allen Blakemore is the center of evil when it comes to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Unsolved homicide cases leave unidentified murderers on our streets and families without answers. So, who is investigating the actions (or inactions) of the Houston Police Department? Typically, the Harris County District Attorney’s office would investigate HPD’s behavior. Instead, the investigation was forwarded to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office at the request of the Harris County DA. This may have been done because Chandler is engaged to a Chief Prosecutor in charge of conviction review at the Harris County District Attorney’s office.Chandler Hampton Photo

The new Harris County District Attorney, Devon Anderson, forwarded the investigation to Montgomery County District Attorney, Brett Ligon. Brett Ligon, an Allen Blakemore client, is also a former union attorney for the Houston Police Officers’ Union. So, now we know that Brett shares a political consultant with Devon Anderson. And they share their political consultant with the Houston Police Officers’ Union. And, before Brett was the Montgomery County District Attorney, he represented HPD officers on a full-time basis for almost ten years. Let me be clear, Brett Ligon represented HPD officers who were disciplined by the department or in trouble with the law. And, of course, Mike Anderson was endorsed by the HPOU. I did contact Jeff McShan, the spokesman for the Harris County District Attorney’s office on Friday and asked for an opportunity to speak with Devon about these issues. I have yet to hear back.

Mike Anderson campaigned on the restoration of integrity to the Harris County District Attorney’s office. After Devon was appointed by Governor Perry, her mouthpiece at the time, Chip Lewis, said that she would “continue the good work” done by Mike. So, wouldn’t you think that Devon would want to avoid even the appearance of impropriety? Why would she forward an investigation of Houston Police Department officers to a former HPOU lawyer? Did Brett Ligon ever represent any of the officers currently under investigation?

Do these disciplined officers continue to work in the homicide division? Do they continue to testify? Has the defense bar been notified about these problems and conflicts? Are these uninvestigated murder cases being reviewed and properly investigated? Are murderers roaming our streets because of law enforcement’s incompetence? Will these murder victims ever be acknowledged? If any of these cases ever go to trial, how will this situation be handled? Were officers paid to not investigate cases? Is that a crime?

The people of Houston deserve a truly independent investigation by the Texas Rangers and a neutral special prosecutor. Allen Blakemore cannot continue to use the courthouse and the District Attorney’s office as his playground. Blakemore controlled the District Attorney’s office through the Chuck Rosenthal administration and we saw the end of that story. It’s always the cover up that gets you.

Amanda, thank you for your deposit of $85,000!

Amanda,

Sorry I have been remiss in posting about your and Chip’s misdeeds. I did want to thank you for placing your $85,000 into the Lynn Hughes’ court registry for Rachel. Now please understand we are adding the additional legal fees incurred by you for your completely bogus and laughable response to our response. Not that you ever had a discernible case for anything but a frivolous suit but your latest filing takes the cake! We all laughed and are betting you wrote it because no competent lawyer would send that to the 5th circuit.

Now we need all your money so keep up the good work. Watch what the 5th circuit does with our request for additional fees for your continued stupidity. Consider this a teachable moment for your law career and hey who knew you could be the law of the land and the case on point for the Citizen’s Participation Act. Elected officials everywhere thank you, well except Devon Anderson who this will turn out worse for her then you. I thank you and Chip for the opportunity, and yes I am having fun putting you in the poor house!

You need to go back and read these posts, pretty uncanny how I predicted your demise. You are a fool and soon be parted from all your money!

Thanks for playing!

Don Hooper

Amanda Culbertson, pay up!

Amanda,

By now you know there is a turn over sitting on Judge Hughes desk for your assets. Understand, you wanted to make this personal so now I do too.

You need to get Scott and Chip and go down to Hughes’ court and explain why the order should not be granted. Understand that the argument should include some sort of explanation of why you filed a frivolous lawsuit since you made 500,000 dollars over the last two years. We will get every dime of your money and with a letter of recommendation from us for law school.

Yes, my hand is sore from slapping your lawyers around the courthouse and commissioner’s court, again. You should notice a missing item from yesterday’s agenda from Commissioner’s Court.

Please keep driving up the legal cost, we are not quite there yet.

Thanks for playing!

 

 

Oh Chipper, I think Hughes is talking to you!

Hughes AF order

From Big Jolly

http://bigjollypolitics.com/2013/11/23/rachel-palmer-wins/

Rachel Palmer wins again

 BY  

ADA Rachel Palmer

ADA Rachel Palmer

One thing about being bullied is that if you are willing to step up and fight back, you usually win. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer, who along with former Harris County District Attorney Pay Lykos was the subject of a politically motivated witch hunt, was willing to step up and fight back. And win she did.

This past Wednesday, Federal Judge Lynn Hughes issued an order forcing the plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit against Palmer, Amanda Culbertson and Jorge Wong, to pay  Palmer $82,101 in attorney’s fees. Click here to view the order.

Because Culbertson and Wong brought baseless claims in an attempt to construct a case out of an administrative policy they did not like, they must pay the reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in defending their suit. They may use legal action in their politics, but they are responsible for the consequences.

Let me repeat that last line:

They may use legal action in their politics, but they are responsible for the consequences.

I remain convinced that the real culprit here was the attorney pushing Culbertson and Wong, Chip B. Lewis, along with other supporters of former Harris County DA Mike Anderson (deceased). Hopefully Culbertson and Wong will find a way to make Mr. Lewis pay the $82,101 because they were nothing more than pawns used in an attempt to smear Palmer and Lykos. Perhaps the campaign account of Anderson could chip in because that campaign certainly profited from the smears.

It is an absolute disgrace that these people used a runaway grand jury as a tool to get Anderson elected to office and then used a couple of pawns like Culbertson and Wong to continue the smear.

Congratulations to Rachel Palmer for being a fighter and standing up to the bullies, although it is no surprise. She fights for the citizens of Harris County every day in the courtroom, putting the worst of the worst in our society behind bars where they belong. Those now in positions of power at the DA’s office continue to hold her back and bypass her for promotion. It will take time for this smear job to go away (and the current regime to get booted out of office) but perhaps someday the people of Harris County will recognize her work and elect her to lead the DA’s office and put integrity back in the place.

 

 

Federal Judge Lynn Hughes issues opinion on the dismissal

I know David Jennings is writing about this so I am just posting the opinion here for informational purposes and thanking a few folks who really deserve to be called out. Judge Hughes issued this opinion yesterday afternoon, on 9-11. Once again, hat-tip to Kate David and Mike Stafford, unquestionably two of the best lawyers in the City of Houston. These two lawyers, who I might add, won the Early to Rise litigation a few days ago. They are on a roll.

I also would like to thank Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, Robert Soard, and Mary Baker from the Harris County Attorney’s Office who provided Rachel such wonderful counsel. We are deeply in your gratitude. This goes double to the members of Harris County Commissioners Court. To all, thank you!

Hughes Opinion on Dismissal

 

Slapped hard, Dr. Karpen’s Lawyer Taken to the Cleaners!

Chip Lewis, Dr. Karpen’s lawyer, you now owe us a great deal of money.All White Party Photo

Amanda and Jorge, I would sue Chip Lewis for leading you to believe you had a cause of action. I hope your lawyers explain to you that you must now pay everyone’s legal fees under the anti-slapp law.

Just so you know we are are talking 500K for Rachel alone. You will also owe for Judge Lykos and the County. You can of course sue Chip Lewis, Dr. Karpen’s lawyer, and the Cooks to get them to pay your share. The Cooks will have mal-practice insurance to off set their losses, Chip will have sanctions too. I can make a referral if you need. The good thing is that the Cooks will have been understood to have expertise in their field of employment law and will be held to greater scrutiny. Scott, it will get worse for you, think about Rachel’s deposition. Gentleman thank you for playing and I am betting Chip is not answering your calls.  I would pass the hat starting with Judge Brown and Allen, just pay up, what is a million for the trade off.

So why does Chip Lewis sue two pro-life prosecutors right before Anderson takes office?

Amanda and Jorge, I have already spoken to several lawyers who will take your case, educated smart lawyers.

First time a public official has ever been granted a slap motion.

Amanda and Jorge, you will be famous in the legal world.

Thank you Mike Stafford and Kate David, the best!

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Appeal this!

Patricia Pollard, God is good!

He also does not liked to be mocked.