Devon Anderson Shoots the Messenger!

I told you so

The messengers have been indicted. Yesterday, Mary Lou Keel’s grand jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for their involvement in the Planned Parenthood investigation. Keel, the judge of the 232nd District Court is currently running for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

This result was foreshadowed by District Attorney Devon Anderson’s prior decision making. As you likely know, Devon Anderson was appointed by Rick Perry to the position after her husband, Mike Anderson, passed away months into his first term. Following this appointment, Devon was placed on the 2014 ballot to complete her late husband’s term. On December 20, 2013, after she knew that she did not have a primary opponent, a Harris County grand jury no billed Douglas Karpen, a local doctor accused of performing late term abortions. Four former employees of Karpen accused him of delivering live babies during the third trimester and killing them by snipping their spinal cords or twisting their necks. The evidence was compelling and any decent prosecutor from the DA’s office could have taken the case to trial with these witnesses. Anderson of course no billed Karpen. Anderson decided to stick with capital murders on video. That is the level of evidence that she is comfortable with.

One of Anderson’s largest campaign contributors is a criminal defense lawyer named Chip Lewis – Karpen’s attorney.

Devon Anderson has highlighted the work of Ann Johnson, hired by Mike Anderson to “specialize and combat human trafficking.” In 2012, Ann Johnson ran as a pro-Planned Parenthood Democrat against State Representative Sarah Davis.

Anderson has never been called to task about her judicial bypass record as a District Court Judge.

Here we are and Devon Anderson is again on the ballot.  Now, she seeks a full term as District Attorney – again, without a primary opponent. Devon Anderson and her arrogance have succeeded in going where no DA has gone before. Can you imagine a sitting Harris County DA going to the left of the Los Angeles District Attorney or the Manhattan DA’s office? Is this Texas Justice?

While we wait for the records to appear on the Harris County District Clerk’s website, you may research Devon Anderson on Big Jolly. You need to ask yourselves why Dan Patrick, Ryan Patrick, Jared Woodfill, Hotze, and others have been such big supporters of the Andersons. Hate to say I told you so, but….

David Robert Daleiden Indictment

Sandra Susan Merritt Indictment

http://bigjollypolitics.com/voted-kim-ogg/

http://bigjollypolitics.com/harris-countys-tough-crime-da-devon-anderson/

http://bigjollypolitics.com/da-devon-anderson-delay-victor-trevino-trial/

http://bigjollypolitics.com/appointment-devon-anderson/

Charge against David Daleiden

Ahoy Sylvester!

bill-king-friends-on-hard-times1

Bill King is a sailor. While I have never sailed with him, I am pretty sure that he has always returned to the dock with all his crew and passengers.

On the other hand, Sylvester Turner’s client “disappeared” in Galveston Bay and was later found in a Spanish prison…after the insurance paid on the life insurance claim. During Sylvester’s first campaign for Houston mayor in 1991, Wayne Dolcefino found him living in a house with Dwight Thomas (since the home Turner owned with his wife was outside the city). Dwight had introduced Sylvester to a man named Sylvester Foster – a “male model” and “hairdresser.” Turner prepared a will for Foster who then went missing from a boat in Galveston Bay and then worked to probate the will and have Foster declared dead in order to collect the life insurance funds. It is a story of insurance fraud but more importantly it is a story of character. Read on.

During his second race for mayor in 2003, Sylvester Turner taught Dave Wilson a trick or two. In 2003, Doris Hubbard, a campaign consultant for Sylvester’s 1991 failed bid for mayor, paid Brenda Flores to recruit a black Bill White to run against the white Bill White. An Acres Homes political organizer paid a white, rabble-rousing democratic political operative to recruit a guy with the same name to mislead and confuse voters so the black liberal dude could win his second mayoral bid. Would the white Bill White have a claim under the Sylvester Turner supported HERO ordinance? I love this stuff. It does not end here.

As you know, Bob Lanier beat Sylvester Turner in the 1991 mayor’s race. On Lanier’s inauguration day, Turner’s wife, Cheryl Gillum Turner, filed for divorce. On April 19, 1994, Cheryl Turner, a ten year veteran of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, was deposed in Sylvester’s lawsuit against Wayne Dolcefino and Channel 13. During the divorce, Ms. Turner, an experienced attorney, signed an affidavit recounting Sylvester’s trysts (which she now recants). Sylvester has made his ex-wife an issue as he brought her out to refute the allegations made in her own affidavit and deposition.

Cheryl TurnerOn May 19, 2005, Cheryl Turner was indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury for misapplication of fiduciary property – or stealing between $100,000 and $200,000 of client funds. After a year and a half of court appearances, on September 9, 2006, Cheryl Turner pled guilty to the second degree felony and was sentenced to ten years in prison. A few months later, Turner was released and placed on a ten year probation (to end in January 2017) with a condition that Turner pay $63,000 in restitution to the complainant. On December 15, 2005, the Texas Supreme Court accepted Turner’s resignation from the State Bar of Texas. That order lists nine complainants and over $180,000 in stolen funds.

In May 2012, Turner’s attorney filed a motion asking the court to subtract $30,000 paid to the complainant in the criminal case by the State Bar of Texas.

$63,000

-$30,000 (State Bar of Texas)

                         

$33,000

-$14,859 (approximate restitution paid by Turner from January 2006 – May 2012)

                         

$18,141 (restitution owed)

A few months later, in December 2012, Marc Brown signed an order terminating Turner’s probation – four years early. Why was Turner’s restitution reduced by money paid by the State Bar of Texas? Was Turner able to pay $18,141 from May – December 2012? Was the probation terminated before Turner paid all the restitution owed? Was Turner treated differently than other thieves?

Over the years, Sylvester Turner has closely aligned himself with special interest groups including public employee unions. We know that the police and fire unions endorsed Sylvester Turner for mayor even before this election season began. This should furrow your brow.

Clifford CostelloGood citizens of the city should also question Turner’s alignment with people like Stephen “king of conflicts” Costello and Cindy Clifford. Following the general election, Costello was quick to endorse Sylvester: “Sylvester and I agree that ReBuild Houston [READ: RAIN TAX] is a good baseline infrastructure program that can and must be improved to meet the needs and expectations of Houstonians.” I was not surprised to hear Costello continue to support his rain tax. The remainder of Costello’s statement should cause Houstonians great alarm: “Sylvester Turner is the best candidate to connect all of Houston through multi-modal transportation, and I look forward to working with him on critical transportation issues like commuter rail.” I fully expect Turner, if elected, to appoint Costello as the Chair of METRO. In a time when our city is in dire financial straits, the father of our rain tax needs to quickly exit stage left. The connection between Turner and Costello should cause Houstonians to run to the polls for Bill King.

Parker and Clifford

Parker and Clifford

Turner is also very close to Cindy Clifford – a “lobbyist” and “strategic marketing specialist.” Recent stories have questioned Clifford’s failed adherence to the city’s procurement and lobbying rules. After Clifford’s client received the latest airport contract earlier this year, Clifford received a citation for shoving a fellow lobbyist at City Hall. There is a reason why Clifford’s Twitter feed is filled with Turner stories. She and her buddies (like Annise Parker) are scared to death that Bill King could come in and make the city’s politics honest.

This is one of the most important city elections of my lifetime. When you think about the upcoming race, think about the massive cronyism machine that will be cranking down at City Hall with a Turner administration. Sylvester Turner as mayor could mean the death of a once great city. The very people who have bankrupted the city are desperate to get Turner elected. If Turner is elected, there is only one thing to do – abandon ship!

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Will Devon Anderson vote for Patricia “Trisha” Pollard?

Judge Devon Anderson swears in Patricia Pollard to the Texas State University System Board of Regents

Notorious grand jury foreman Patricia “Trisha” Pollard is seeking office in the City of Bellaire. She recently sent an intermediary to ask that I not tell the truth about her; but, I owe it to the people of Bellaire to tell this story.

Some people ask, “How do you know that Trisha Pollard is bad?” Well, the answer is simple. Do you remember what happened to the BAT van controversy? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Trisha Pollard and her merry band of misfits used this fake scandal to get the now deceased Mike Anderson elected meanwhile using lies to besmirch the character of good people.

May 2003 Grand Jury Foreman 262nd District Court – Mike Anderson
August 2005 Grand Jury Foreman 262nd District Court – Mike Anderson
February 2007 Grand Jury Foreman 177th District Court – Devon Anderson
November 2009 Grand Jury Foreman 262nd District Court – Mike Anderson
August 2011 Grand Jury Foreman 185th District Court – Susan Brown
2013 Grand Jury Assistant Foreman 179th District Court – Kristin Guiney

For many years, Pollard was the gold star grand jury foreman for the Andersons. She contributed to their campaign efforts and loyally served on at least six grand juries. Pollard openly bragged about her grand jury service and claimed that she led a grand jury that handled “the greatest number of cases in history.” A rather interesting sense of justice.

The whole BAT van falsehood was fabricated by a group of entitled courthouse folks who did not like Pat Lykos. Specifically, this group reveled in the idea of control and was upset by the fact that Harris County justice was no longer “just us.” To bring it back to the “just us” days, this group created a fake scandal to throw shade on Lykos and many other very good people. While it may have cost Lykos the election, this group has now been forced to ponder an interesting question – Is Devon Anderson “worse” than their mortal enemy, Pat Lykos? That is another story for another time.

We now know that Pollard was the foreman of the grand jury that indicted Alfred Dewayne Brown who was recently released from custody after ten years on death row. Brown was convicted of capital murder in 2005 for the death of Houston Police Department Officer Charles Clark and check cashing clerk Alfredia Jones during an attempted robbery.

Houston Chronicle columnist Lisa Falkenberg won a Pulitzer Prize for her series on Alfred Brown. Falkenberg primarily wrote about the grand jury that brow beat and jailed Brown’s girlfriend in an attempt to change her story about Brown’s alibi, which overshadowed the fact that a rubber stamp grand jury was used to indict Brown. Public sentiment over the Brown case and “professional” grand jurors like Pollard led to this year’s statewide grand jury reform.trisha-pollard-hpd-helicopter-facebook-june-4-2013

A review of Pollard’s grand jury service is disturbing. In 2011 and 2012, she misused her position as grand jury foreman to create a scandal and make inaccurate public statements to get Mike Anderson elected. Following her service on the 185th grand jury, Pollard, along with Jim Mount and Chip Lewis, made a public statement (filled with erroneous statements) about the grand jury in violation of grand jury secrecy laws and common sense. If Pollard was just a regular citizen, these facts would be bad. Come to find out, she is a lawyer. Did Pollard violate the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct by engaging in “conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation?”

Pollard has a history of making things up and all anyone has to do is look at her testimony in the Texas Senate when she alleged there was some elaborate healthcare fraud in Texas. Following Pollard’s 2005 service, she wrote a letter to Governor Rick Perry and all members of the Texas Legislature claiming that she had discovered massive Medicaid fraud during her tenure on the grand jury. In her letter, Pollard alleged a “widespread, massive, and repeated” fraud.

After legislators received her letter, Pollard was asked to testify before the Senate Finance Committee on January 18, 2006. During the hearing, several senators pushed her on the “widespread, massive, and repeated” fraud allegation. Ultimately, Pollard conceded that she had no evidence to substantiate her allegation. Watch it, and judge for yourself if this is what you want on the Bellaire City Council.

Importantly, as stated during the hearing, Mike Anderson was aware of Pollard’s letter; so, he knew that she was loose cannon as early as 2005 – 2006. He knew that Pollard fabricated wild, unsubstantiated allegations.

Now, Pollard is walking the streets of Bellaire to campaign for city council. Trisha Pollard, a woman who was a strong reason behind the need for grand jury reform in the state of Texas, is seeking to bring that destructive force to the City of Bellaire.

Bellaire residents have an excellent opportunity to openly reject Pollard’s bad behavior. Pollard’s duplicity and corruption will no doubt follow her to the Bellaire City council. No one will be safe in Bellaire with Pollard on council and voters there should think long and hard about this election and the potential legal liability of electing such an individual.

Kelly Siegler and the Jiggery-Pokery Gang

Kelly Siegler DA Announcement Photo

On Thursday, Judge Larry Gist issued 36 findings of prosecutorial misconduct against Kelly Siegler in the David Temple murder case. I wanted to give you a little background on Ms. Siegler so the Big Jolly readers can remain the most knowledgeable folks on Harris County criminal justice issues.

Kelly and the Jiggery-Pokery Gang united for Kelly’s unsuccessful DA bid in 2008. The gang existed in many forms long before 2008; but, Kelly’s 2008 campaign announcement provided the first opportunity for a public group photo. The gang photo clarifies their unification to the outside viewer.

Like all gangs, there is a hierarchy. Ms. Siegler is the central figure and, generally, close proximity to the leader in the photo denotes a higher rank; although, a few things have changed since 2008. The judiciary members are not as obvious; but, they are certainly a very important part of this gang. Some judges, like Susan Brown, act as capos within the organization. The group also acts to protect other gang members or affiliates, not unlike most street gangs.

The gang’s name has changed over the years. More recently, I renamed the group the Jiggery-Pokey Gang after reading Justice Scalia’s Obamacare dissent. I think the term fittingly describes this group and their operations.

Jiggery-pokery: Dishonest or suspicious activity.

David Temple is a difficult case because so many have prejudged his guilt David Temple Murder Trialbased on Kelly’s facts. Heck, he was already convicted and sentenced. He was cheating on his pregnant wife and later married his mistress. It is easy to hate his behavior. But, the current issue is not about David Temple’s innocence. It is about fundamental fairness and justice. A rigged game is not justice.

When the wrong man is convicted, we are all to blame. It is the responsibility of every citizen, voter, and human being to learn about our criminal justice system and make sure that justice for all actually means something.

We, as Harris County citizens, need to take very seriously who we elect as DA and misdemeanor and felony judges. It cannot be a popularity contest foisted on the precinct chairs by the political consultants. The Jiggery-Pokery Gang has a history. Their affiliates have a history. And certain political consultants, like Allen Blakemore and Mary Jane Smith, are the promoters of these gang members.

Why is the gang designation important? It is crucial for citizens, particularly those outside of the criminal justice system, to understand that Kelly Siegler’s actions are not an isolated incident. Kelly intentionally and purposefully withheld exculpatory evidence in a criminal prosecution. Craig Goodhart, Kelly’s assistant on the Temple trial, has been accused of similar impropriety in the Linda Carty case.  Retired DEA Special Agent Charles Mathis alleges that Connie Spence threatened to question him about a fictional affair with Linda Carty.  Lance Long and Murray Newman, Kelly disciples, were accused of pressuring witnesses to lie in the Antonio Williams case.

“Mr. Long and the investigators pressured me to testify that Antonio was at the scene and was the shooter. They stated to me that if I helped them out, they would help out.”

Excerpt from an affidavit by Sharonda Cooper, a neighbor who testified against Antonio Williams.

This is just a sampling of the prosecutorial misconduct developed and perpetrated by the gang.

The Jiggery-Pokery Gang furthers their agenda in a number of ways. Remember, for the most part, these are lawyers and highly educated people operating in and around the DA’s office. Like all gangs, they use tools common to their surroundings. Here, the gang uses the grand jury system, media, courts, and certain judges to further their agenda.

The DA’s office is very similar to junior high or high school; so, it is very simple for the inner circle to use their popularity and cunning ways to get their way. The group treats Kelly like a deity or party-animal homecoming queen.

Nothing that has come out concerning Siegler’s prosecution of David Temple is new. Siegler employed the exact same methods used by Ken Anderson on Michael Morton, an innocent man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in Williamson County. In the Morton case, the prosecutor lost his law license and went to jail.

The media is culpable in the gang’s rise to power. So often, the media relies on information used in their stories provided by gang members. This is an important fact because it allows the gang members to assert their narrative. Siegler carefully uses her minions to plant stories in the media, which are used to build her image and television career. Think about how often Chip Lewis, a Kelly crony, is quoted by reporters. It is a game and justice is not the goal.

The win-at-all-costs mentality flourished during the Rosenthal administration. Chuck Rosenthal allowed Kelly and others to run amok.

Devon Anderson promised to return the DA’s office back to the old days, which is code to the gang members for win-at-all-costs. Many members of Kelly’s crew also roll with Devon. The Lykos administration threatened to out this group and their misdeeds; so, they only had one choice: to destroy reputations. That is why, when Kelly ran for DA in 2008, Murray Newman, Kelly’s Minister of Propaganda, created a blog to perpetuate the Kelly myth.

It is high time for people to know the truth about injustice in Harris County. David Temple’s lawyers have asked that an attorney pro tem or special prosecutor be appointed. This would be a start; but, as in the Michael Morton case involving Ken Anderson and the Anthony Graves case, a Court of Inquiry was formed to investigate the misdeeds on a much broader level. If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you are aware of lots of misdeeds reported here involving the District Attorney’s office. It is time for the Republican Party to join with others and lead the charge to clean up the courthouse and the District Attorney’s office.

Part One

Robert Durst, the Jinx, and DA Devon Anderson

Robinhood Hi-RiseKeeping Up Appearances

Appearance of impropriety between Robert Durst’s attorney, Chip B. Lewis, and Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson

2520 Robinhood is home to a small high rise blocks away from Rice University. This address is also the location of Robert Durst’s safe house. Durst is a registered voter in Harris County and in the Conductor’s Circle level of giving to the Houston Symphony. In Houston, Durst’s security consists of Chip Lewis, not a registered voter; but, an attorney with special influence at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.

If you turned on your television Sunday evening, you could not get away from Lewis. He seems to be using Durst’s latest misfortunes as his personal press junket. So, who is this opportunist?

Lewis spent the last half of the 1990s as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney. During 1999, his last year at the District Attorney’s office, Lewis represented the State of Texas in the prosecution of three Second Baptist School students alleged of aggravated sexual assault. For months, Lewis worked with fellow prosecutors Terese Buess and Lisa Andrews to prosecute these cases.

On the eve of trial, Lewis convinced the victim and her family to bless off on a plea bargain that dismissed the rape cases. In return, one of the three defendants, represented by Dan Cogdell, pled no contest to unlawful restraint and received deferred adjudication. This plea assured Cogdell that his client would not be labeled a sex offender because the plea bargain relieved the defendant of the sex offender registration requirements. Devon Anderson’s husband, Mike, accepted the plea bargain as judge of the 262nd District Court.Mike Anderson

Following the conclusion of this deal, Lewis left the DA’s office and went to work for Cogdell. Meanwhile, the victim and her family were forced to file a civil lawsuit to recover restitution for her medical treatment

Lewis knows the media. Weeks after her husband’s passing, Devon Anderson was appointed to serve as Harris County District Attorney. Lewis served as a backchannel telling Chron reporter Brian Rogers that he “understood that Judge Anderson and Judge Hill discussed this [appointment] extensively.” How would he know?Devon Anderson showing her underware

So far, in one year, Lewis has donated $25,100 to Devon Anderson. Who knows if Durst has contributed under one of his many aliases.

  • $10,000 on February 4, 2014
  • $5,000 on May 23, 2014
  • $1,000 on September 17, 2014
  • $9,100 on September 25, 2014

This does not include the funds that Lewis donated to Mike Anderson, which were ultimately transferred to Devon’s campaign account. Lewis gave Mike Anderson $12,531.

  • $10,000 on February 27, 2012
  • $1,531 on June 12, 2012
  • $1,000 on April 2, 2013

Even in the shadow of the latest courthouse rumors surrounding Lewis, he is hosting a fundraiser for Devon later this month. What has Chip’s investment in the Andersons done for him?

DurstWhen Durst was arrested in June 2014 for urinating on candy at his local CVS, he was filed on for a class b misdemeanor. Three months ago (and post-election), Devon Anderson’s office reduced the charge to a fine only class c charge. Certainly a tough prosecutor like Devon called LA and Westchester County to let them know that their creepy serial killer is spraying his urine all over candy right here in Harris County, right? Devon Anderson sent the jinx back home to Rice Village. I am sure there is a very good reason why Robert Durst’s criminal defense attorney is Devon Anderson’s largest legal campaign contributor.

Since Devon Anderson assumed the position of District Attorney in September 2013, Lewis has received approximately 40 dismissals for his clients – this does not include the numerous dismissals under her husband’s administration. Victor Trevino, another Lewis client, received probation with no jail time for misapplying money. Trevino’s three other cases were dismissed.

Lewis represented Doug Karpen, the “Texas Gosnell.” Under Devon’s leadership, Karpen was no billed by a grand jury.

Lewis’s involvement in the 185th runaway grand jury is well recorded. Lewis and his client, Amanda Culbertson, sold a fabricated story to the grand jury, manipulated the system, and used the process to get Mike Anderson elected. Lewis and Culbertson subsequently attempted to use the federal court system to silence my wife and they have been unsuccessful. In fact, during one of the hearings, Lewis simply left the court during a break and was chastised by Judge Lynn Hughes.

The story of the worthless HPD homicide detective, Ryan Chandler, has been a consistent narrative over the past year. The former detective is married to Devon’s chief of post-conviction review, which is an area of the office supposedly dedicated to the review of innocence claims. For some reason, Lewis has openly supported the former detective and attempted to manipulate the media to favor this man who failed to investigate at least 25 Houston murder cases.

Devon Anderson needs to account for her relationship with Mr. Lewis. His campaign donations and results at the courthouse, at a minimum, appear improper.

The Andersons campaigned on their tough on crime stance. If you look around town, you can find evidence of a serious crime wave in Harris County. Tagging isn’t just graffiti – it is a criminal element marking their territory. The local news is filled with shootings, kidnappings, and robberies.Lewis Durst

Harris County residents are riding a crime wave and the smart criminals know where to go. I am sure that the Rice University area residents are praying that the criminal justice system is less corrupt in New Orleans and LA County than in Houston. Maybe we can rename the open carry bill after Robert Durst.

Hmmm, another quick dismissal?

Hmmm, another quick dismissal?

Chip Lewis Top Ten

Top Ten Reasons Chip Lewis is the Topic of Conversation at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.

10. Judges are wondering if Chip’s campaign contributions were just room rental fees.

9. Chuck Lorre used Chip as a muse for Two and a Half Men.

8. Tiger Woods lists Chip as a mentor.

7. Facilities and Property Management is installing panic buttons in the jury rooms.

6. A certain judge’s jury room table is now in the same office as Chuck’s old couch.

5. Luminol and black lights are on order by Facilities and Property Management.

4. Purell and Lysol admonishments are on the agenda for the next judges’ meeting.

3. Judges ordered new locks for the jury room doors.

2. No more court lunches in the jury room!

1. The 50 Shades of Grey movie vouchers around the courthouse now make sense.

Add your top ten and I’ll post em.

Who says you can’t have sex with clients in the jury room?

So let’s see how long it takes DA Devon Anderson to charge Chip Lewis with a crime?

  • 21.07.  PUBLIC LEWDNESS. (a) A person commits an offense if he knowingly engages in any of the following acts in a public place or, if not in a public place, he is reckless about whether another is present who will be offended or alarmed by his:

(1) act of sexual intercourse;

(2) act of deviate sexual intercourse;

(3) act of sexual contact; or

(4) act involving contact between the person’s mouth or genitals and the anus or genitals of an animal or fowl.

(b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

Devon Anderson Post Election

 

11.3.14 Victor Trevino, represented by Chip Lewis, pleads guilty to one case of misapplication of fiduciary property, a third-degree felony – sentencing set for after the election
11.4.14 Election Day – Devon Anderson elected Harris County DA
11.5.14 Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reverses Alfred Dewayne Brown’s capital murder conviction
11.17.14 Victor Trevino receives probation from Susan Brown with no jail time as a condition
11.25.14 Dustin Deutsch, former Harris County District Attorney’s office investigator, indicted for stealing evidence in 2012 (Lonnie Blevins, his partner, was arrested by the FBI in February 2013)
12.10.14 Cameron Moon’s murder conviction overturned by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals following an incomplete certification process, which permitted him to be tried as an adult
12.12.14 Devon Anderson announces purchase of body cameras with asset forfeiture funds
12.16.14 Robert Durst pleads guilty to a reduced charge
12.18.14 Tadano America Corp. files lawsuit against the Harris County District Attorney’s office over the comic book scandal
12.23.14 228th Grand Jury no bills Houston Police Department Officer Juventino Castro in the death of Jordan Baker

 I am disappointed that the November election brought us another two years with Devon Anderson as District Attorney. During the election, it was obvious that Devon and her gang were holding their breath and hoping to delay certain difficult issues. Immediately following the election, the door to Devon’s closet full of problems swung open and revealed a laundry list of challenges.

On the day after the election, Devon awoke to an overturned conviction in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. The highest criminal court in Texas rejected the conviction and death sentence for Alfred Dewayne Brown.

In 2005, Brown was convicted of participating in the April 3, 2003 burglary of an Ace Check Cashing store. During the burglary, Houston Police Department Officer Charles Clark and the store clerk, Alfredia Jones, a single mother of two, were murdered.

Three men, Elijah Dwayne Joubert, Dashan Vadell Glaspie, and Brown, were charged with the Ace murders. Joubert and Brown were convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death, partially on Glaspie’s testimony. In exchange for his testimony, Glaspie received a plea bargain of 30 years in prison on a reduced charge of aggravated robbery.

Immediately after the Ace murders, Ericka Jean Dockery was used by Harris County Assistant District Attorneys to build a case against Brown and likely present false testimony. In a previous article, I reviewed the timeline of this injustice. On November 5, 2014, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals published their opinion in the Brown case.

This Court has reviewed the record with respect to the Brady allegation made by applicant. Based on the habeas court’s findings and conclusions and our own review, we hold that the State withheld evidence that was both favorable and material to applicant’s case in violation of Brady.

I do not know if Alfred Dewayne Brown played a role in the murders of Ms. Jones and Officer Clark; but, that is not the purpose of this story. This case provides an example of law enforcement’s ability to use the criminal justice system to produce a dishonest result. In particular, Brown’s case highlights the misuse of the grand jury system.

A variety of issues contribute to this misuse: repeat/professional grand jurors; the pick-a-pal (or key man) system that allows judges to handpick their grand jurors; law enforcement personnel serving as grand jurors; law enforcement influence on grand jurors; and improper influence such as the police shooting simulator. In Harris County, a prosecutor is allowed to present a case or investigation to any of the active grand juries and the prosecutor alone decides what evidence is presented to these grand jurors. Many people have a vested interest in keeping the current system in place.

During the campaign, Devon Anderson discussed the grand jury system with Houston Chronicle writer Lisa Falkenberg. Anderson said:

  • Even though she used the key man system as a judge, she would not use that system now.
  • The District Attorney is not in the position to dictate grand jury policy to the criminal court judges.

In the last legislative session, Senator Estes filed SB 834, which would keep the identity of grand jurors confidential. The Harris County District Attorney’s legislative liaison, Justin Wood, was in favor of the bill. So, in 2013, under the leadership of Mike Anderson, the Harris County District Attorney’s office took a position in favor of secret grand juries.

Senator Whitmire and Representative Dutton have filed bills to abolish the pick-a-pal system. In other words, with this legislation, Texas grand juries could only be selected through the jury pool. What will Devon Anderson do now? The no bill of Houston Police Department Officer Juventino Castro certainly magnifies the issue.

Log on to the Texas Legislature Online. Watch SB 135 and HB 282. Will the Houston Police Officers’ Union oppose this legislation? If so, why? Will the Harris County District Attorney’s office take a position?

While this legislation offers a sure fix, is it the correct answer? Does it get to the root of the problem? Does it let judges like Susan Brown off the hook? I am in favor of the abolition of pick-a-pal grand juries because the problem needs to be fixed immediately; but, I do not want to ignore the meaning behind this belief – there are judges who simply cannot be trusted. The only true solution to the problem of using a grand jury for an unlawful purpose is to identify this wrongdoing, educate the public, and get bad judges out of the courthouse.

Let me speak plainly on this issue. Now, judges are allowed to handpick individuals throughout Harris County to serve on their grand jury. These individuals can be their friends from church or the country club or people who helped get them elected, like political and union folks, including police officers. Lisa Falkenberg recently exposed the fact that most Harris County judges are sealing the names of their grand jurors. Harris County judges can handpick their friends/supporters to serve on their grand juries and defendants may never know the connection because those same judges protect the identities of grand jurors.

Most recently, the 228th Grand Jury refused to indict Houston Police Department Officer Juventino Castro in the shooting of an unarmed black man named Jordan Baker. The judge of the 228th District Court, Marc Carter, signed an order sealing the names of these grand jurors. In a recent Twitter exchange, Judge Carter told Falkenberg that revealing the race and gender information of grand jurors would answer “basic fairness questions.” Falkenberg concurred. As long as pick-a-pal grand juries exist, the revelation of race and gender alone is wholly insufficient in order to determine fairness.

Beyond the 185th grand jury, there are other instances of (at a minimum) the appearance of impropriety on local grand juries. The foreman of the Montgomery County grand jury that indicted Adrian Peterson was the chief deputy clerk and court administrator in Montgomery County. It was recently revealed that, in 2003, Houston Police Officer James Koteras led the grand jury that threatened Alfred Dewayne Brown’s girlfriend Ericka Jean Dockery.

Who cares, right? You are likely an upstanding citizen and the only time that you even think about the justice system is on the rare occasion when you are called for jury duty.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend an event for the Anthony Graves Foundation. One of the luncheon speakers was Kelly Siegler. In her gruff way, she made a good point: victims are revictimized and communities are damaged when the wrong defendant is prosecuted. That is not justice. And, I think that most of us want justice for our community.

With this bad post-election publicity, Devon Anderson announced that she would use asset forfeiture funds to purchase body cameras for some local law enforcement. She is desperately trying to heal her relationship with the black community after she used Harlem Lewis to champion her “one tough prosecutor” image.

Devon did not fare well with the Hispanic community either with her handling of the Victor Trevino case. First, it was announced that Devon offered Victor Trevino a pre-trial plea bargain to reduce the felony offenses to a class C misdemeanor, a traffic ticket-level offense. Following jury selection and a day of testimony, on Election Day Eve, Trevino pleaded guilty to one case of misapplication of fiduciary property, a third degree felony. The sentencing was reset for two weeks and, surprising no one, Susan Brown gave Victor Trevino probation with no jail time as a condition.

Courthouse watchers raised an eyebrow when Trevino’s case was transferred from Judge Mark Kent Ellis’ court to the dishonorable Susan Brown’s court. Susan Brown, the judge of the 185th runaway grand jury that helped get Mike Anderson into office, held the wife of a defendant in contempt after she yelled “Amen” when a jury found her husband not guilty. Why would Trevino agree to this transfer unless he knew that the fix was in?

Imagine the balancing that was going on with this litigation. Chip Lewis, Trevino’s attorney, desperately wanted Devon Anderson to win. After Lewis permitted Trevino to testify before a grand jury not once, but twice, the constable was indicted. Lewis needed to clean up his mess with Trevino and “represent” his client’s best interests while making sure that his gal was elected. Again, why would Trevino agree to this transfer? Meanwhile, in December, another Lewis client, Robert Durst, received a reduced charge from Devon Anderson after he exposed himself and urinated on candy at CVS.

Let me talk about the Houston Police Officers’ Union for a moment. Every politician in Houston and Harris County tries to curry favor with this union. Deals are made because, let’s face it, unions can be powerful. It was this very union that worked together with Allen Blakemore and Mike Anderson to take down Pat Lykos at all costs because she stood up to them and prosecuted their own. It is this very union that protects officers from indictment.

What is next for the Harris County District Attorney’s office? Will Belinda Hill stay? How will the lawsuit over the comic book caper go down? And, how will the hearing end concerning David Temple? I have said for long time that we live in a banana republic if citizens are denied justice at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Chuck Rosenthal may not be the DA any longer but his key supporters are running the show.

Why I voted for Kim Ogg for District Attorney

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Commentary/Opinion by Don Hooper

While some lifelong conservatives, like me, have voted for Kim Ogg this fall, others may be hesitant because they are conservatives and doesn’t a good conservative always vote for the Republican candidate? Of course, that line of thought begs the question: What does a conservative prosecutor look like?

Before I begin, I would like to address the elephant in the room. I do not like the Anderson administration or their cronies and they do not care for me very much either. When I met my wife, she was a hardworking Harris County Assistant District Attorney. Over the last few years, I saw the Anderson cabal use a fake scandal to gain power. In doing so, they did everything they could to tarnish my wife’s professional reputation, including using Chip Lewis to file a baseless civil lawsuit. For many years, the cabal has used Murray Newman to speak ill about my family. Instead of sitting on my hands, I decided to do something about it and started my own website. That being said, I want to see the Harris County District Attorney’s office return to the people of Harris County and I proudly support Kim Ogg for District Attorney.

Some say that they would only support a conservative for any office; so, I would like to look at Devon Anderson’s record and ask the question: What does a conservative prosecutor look like?

In early 2013, Philadelphia physician Kermit Gosnell was convicted of three counts of murder in the deaths of three infants born alive. Shortly after that conviction, the news broke that Harris County authorities were investigating Douglas Karpen, a local doctor accused of performing late term abortions. Four former employees of Karpen accused him of delivering live babies during the third trimester and killing them by snipping their spinal cord or twisting their necks. On December 20, 2013, on Devon’s watch, a Harris County grand jury no billed Karpen. This no bill occurred as soon as Devon knew that she would have no primary opponent.

Much has already been written about our poor grand jury system in Harris County. Most of the judges use a key man system, which means that the judges select commissioners who choose the grand jurors. Using this process, rather than selecting the grand jurors at random from the jury pool, allows bias to enter the criminal justice system. New York judge Sol Wachtler was famously quoted in The Bonfire of the Vanities that “a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if that is what [the prosecutor] wanted.”

In Texas, a prosecutor presents a case or investigation to a grand jury and the defense attorney is not permitted to enter the room. So, if a prosecutor, a hired persuader, presents a case to a pro-government, key man grand jury, what is the likely result?

Devon used the key man system when she was a judge. Devon and her husband continuously recycled certain grand jurors, such as Tricia Pollard.

Now we know that Denise Pratt, former judge of the 311th District Court, was operating a dysfunctional court. It is alleged that she backdated orders and dismissed hundreds of pending cases. If proven, these acts would be deemed criminal. Instead of being “one tough prosecutor” and vigorously prosecuting Pratt, Devon presented the case to a grand jury and used the grand jury as leverage to force Pratt’s resignation.

Meanwhile, the appearance of impropriety was grand. Devon and Pratt shared a political consultant, Allen Blakemore. If you are not familiar with Blakemore’s shenanigans, I ask that you listen to Michael Berry’s take on the man and his ethics. Pratt was represented by Blakemore buddy, Terry Yates. It is amazing that Terry Yates still associates with Blakemore. In 2010, Blakemore’s nasty tactics ruined Terry’s wife’s re-election campaign. Now, Leslie Brock Yates is a regular visiting judge down at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center. Devon is just mimicking Chuck Rosenthal as Blakemore also served as Chuck’s political consultant.

Let’s talk about Devon’s most recent campaign press release issued through Allen Blakemore. Allen and Devon claim that Kim Ogg was late on her latest campaign finance report. That statement is a complete lie. A simple gander at the latest report shows that Kim’s report was mailed on the due date, which is permitted by the rules. If Devon would permit this sort of distortion in her campaign, what is she doing as the interim District Attorney?

In 2012, Mike Anderson used the Houston Police Officers’ Union to publicize his campaign for District Attorney. Anderson and the union used Pat Lykos’s “trace evidence policy” to label Lykos as soft on crime. The truth is that policy was in place for two years prior to the aired complaint. Prior to implementation of the policy, Lykos had gotten the buy in of law enforcement and the judiciary, which included Anderson. This is a great example of the trickery and distortion often used by Blakemore.

During that campaign, Anderson also criticized the DIVERT program, which was a program implemented by Lykos that allowed pre-trial diversion for first time driving while intoxicated offenders. Anderson proclaimed that program was illegal. After he took office, he retained the DIVERT program (giving it another name). Today, the DA’s office continues this pre-trial diversion program. In fact, Devon has implemented a pre-trial diversion program for drug offenders. So, has she implemented illegal programs?

Just this week, Devon announced that she granted pre-trial intervention to an HISD principal and another HISD administrator for failing to report sexual abuse of a child. It is interesting to note that the HISD administrator was represented by Billy Belk, one of the attorneys appointed by Susan Brown to “prosecute” my wife in front of the 185th grand jury.

Speaking of Susan Brown, has anyone ever learned why Susan Brown gave $2,925 to Anderson & Thomas, the former law firm of Devon Anderson and Brock Thomas, on December 29, 2010?

Back to the HPOU. Did you know that Devon is endorsed by the HPOU? It is odd to note that Devon does not discuss this endorsement. Why? Is she worried that citizens would draw the dots between her support of the police and the actions of the DA’s office? Does support from a police union make Devon conservative? If you wonder why the Houston Police are still in the crime lab business, look no further.

Now, Devon is up on television during this campaign. Her commercial focuses on her prosecution of a capital murder [on videotape]. While the Victor Trevino case is continuously reset, it is almost like she tried the capital murder [on videotape] to use in her campaign commercial. Is it conservative to use a defendant as fodder for a political campaign?

Shortly after Mike Anderson took office, he hired Ann Johnson, fresh off her campaign against Republican Sarah Davis for House District 134. Johnson was hired as the “human trafficking specialist” at an annual salary of $110,000. Was that a conservative move?

Belinda Hill gave up her bench to serve as the first assistant under Mike Anderson. A lot of folks thought this was a strange move. Why would a judge with broad authority resign to become an assistant district attorney? Once Mike’s illness was announced, it seemed obvious – Belinda would succeed Mike in office. The Houston Chronicle thought so. Surprisingly, Devon was appointed by Rick Perry. Recently, Devon said that Mike wanted her to take his place.

Chip Lewis has been a visible figure throughout the Anderson administration. He was involved with the 185th grand jury and even told Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack about his forthcoming subpoena. Following Devon’s appointment, he said this: “I understand that Judge Anderson and Judge Hill discussed this [Devon’s appointment] extensively. They both believed that this was in the best interest for Harris County and their families to move forward with this arrangement.” Meanwhile, he is representing Victor Trevino and seems to be getting a lot of favorable results for his clients with the Anderson administration.

Kim Ogg certainly has Republican minions running scared. I received word that a political consultant was looking to see if Kim ever represented a Muslim so that could be used as slime against Kim. Note to this consultant: you may want to first run Devon’s bar number through the Harris County District Clerk’s website before you decide to throw stones. This is the type of garbage that certain people resort to when they have nothing else. Thankfully, Kim Ogg is above that trash.

I first met Kim Ogg in 2009 at a fundraiser for my wife, then a Republican judicial candidate. I will never forget the conversation that I observed between Kim and Dodie Osteen – Kim was thanking Dodie for praying for Kim’s mother at Lakewood.

While some conservatives may have reservation about voting for a democrat, I am confident that Kim Ogg is not a partisan figure. The Ogg administration will be true justice for all Harris County citizens. Think of it this way – a vote for Kim Ogg is a vote against Allen Blakemore.