This gallery contains 1 photo.
Hours before Devon Anderson and Kim Ogg debated last Monday night at Windsor Village United Methodist Church, one of Devon’s lead prosecutors was the subject of prosecutorial misconduct allegations in a Fort Bend County courtroom. Prosecutorial misconduct has become a theme of the Anderson administration.
The DA debate, moderated by Khambrel Marshall from KPRC Local 2, occurred just minutes before 84 million people watched the Trump-Clinton debate. Think about that for a second. The race for Harris County District Attorney is easily the most contested race in the county and the Anderson-Blakemore crew decided to debate Ogg the same night of the most watched political debate in history.
Since the 2014 election, Anderson has been on the defensive for a variety of issues including several prosecutorial misconduct allegations; the [unjust] prosecution of two pro-life activists; a lawsuit that exposed the fact that prosecutors jailed a rape victim; even more jailed witnesses, including another rape victim; misuse of the asset forfeiture process; and a complete lack of diversity in the leadership ranks.
Devon used two defenses to this litany of scandals: personally attacking Kim Ogg and blame shifting.
Anderson attacked Ogg for previously running as a Republican. Anderson also attacked Ogg for voting in the 2008 Harris County Republican Primary. Instead of discussing her own attributes, Anderson tried to point out to the black community that Kim did not vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary campaign. Again, an interesting approach for someone defending her own Republican bona fides and one I enjoy sharing with Republican voters.
I do find it interesting that Kim Ogg’s father, former State Senator Jack Ogg, was one of the last pro-life Democrats in Texas. I was wondering if Anderson was going to bring that up; but, she is likely unaware of Houston political history.
Interestingly, Anderson is still defending her office’s decision to jail rape victims. While this does not surprise me, Anderson’s lack of legal responsibility blows me away. Let me explain. Most of you have likely seen Anderson’s video from Arizona defending the actions of her office. Since the news broke, Anderson has provided a detailed description of the trial court prosecutor’s actions. This is a problem because, whether or not they are true, the prosecutor’s actions were likely outside the scope of his employment, which would pierce his governmental immunity. This is why most smart lawyers say, “I cannot comment on pending litigation.” Devon Anderson is not a smart lawyer.
Ogg quoted hard data to demonstrate the lack of racial diversity in leadership positions at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Simply said, the racial diversity in the office in no way reflects the ethnic composition of the county.
In addressing the series of prosecutorial misconduct allegations against the District Attorney’s Office, Anderson claimed that none had been substantiated. In actuality, Judge Stacey Bond found that two prosecutors intentionally caused a mistrial in a highly publicized case. Attorney Stanley Schneider said that “Harris County residents should be troubled by the DA’s office condoning conduct like this.” After Bond’s ruling, attorney Dan Cogdell said, “It says to me there’s a cancer in that office that needs to be cut out.”
The latest problems involve destroyed evidence at Precinct Four and Anderson’s failure to timely notify defense counsel. Anderson’s office is a scandal a week and this will continue. She is in way over her head and has gotten terrible political and legal advice from those that surround her.
At one point during the debate, Anderson described her office’s transparency and a large chuckle erupted from the audience. Let’s just take the Precinct Four situation. Instead of accepting responsibility, Anderson shifted blame to Constable Mark Herman. Anderson claimed that her office could not obtain reliable case information from Constable Herman’s office, which is why Anderson’s office waited six months to notify defendants that the evidence in their case was destroyed. Meanwhile, defendants went to prison and, now, defendants may sue the county over these civil rights violations. Once again, the taxpayers lose with Anderson in office.
Anderson is wasting your tax dollars by permitting her prosecutors to exercise bad judgment and unethical conduct. She is also using the entire budget for salaries and is dependent on asset forfeiture funds for everything else.
If you watch the debate, you will witness Anderson’s negative personal attacks against Ogg. Anderson’s defensive posture and blame shifting does not warrant Republican support. Most folks agree that Anderson is weighing down the ticket. It is time for the Anderson administration to end. Otherwise, Anderson’s misbehavior will continue as a stain on Harris County Republicans during every election cycle and lead to more problems for years to come. Most importantly, we are not safer with Anderson in office. Violent crime is prominent throughout the county. Anderson was a product of the slates and as Paul Simpson has waged a war against the three prominent slates, he continues to endorse and support the worst candidate in the Republican field, which drags down all of the candidates. Watch the debate and see for yourself.
Audio Devon Anderson, February 6, 2016
Two days after David Daleiden made his first court appearance in Harris County, Devon Anderson spoke to the Kingwood Area Republican Women at their Mardi Gras Ball. She told the crowd that three of the “best prosecutors in the office” were on the case. With sixty years between these three prosecutors, Anderson was confident that justice would prevail.
Anderson reminded the crowd that she must “follow the law.” She acknowledged that she was being asked to dismiss the cases against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt; but, she said that she would not do so and had no “legal reason” to dismiss the cases.
“I am a Christian . . . My faith gives me strength every day,” said Anderson. She emphasized that she hoped Daleiden and Merritt would accept the pretrial diversion because it was a “sweet deal” and would “end this spectacle.”
Then, Anderson went back to her faith, telling the crowd again that she gets strength from her faith: “God is an amazing force in my life. When you most need Him, He steps forward.”
Anderson added that she was reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, with her daughter. “I feel like Atticus Finch,” Anderson told the crowd. Atticus Finch is a fictional character in the book based on Harper Lee’s father, Amasa Coleman Lee, an attorney in Alabama who represented black defendants. The book focuses on Finch’s representation of Tom Robinson, an innocent black man wrongfully accused of sexual assault.
Anderson specifically cited a famous quote from chapter eleven of the beloved book where Scout, the daughter of Atticus, is speaking with her father about the importance of Robinson’s case:
They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinion,” said Atticus, “but, before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
Devon left out a crucial preceding sentence by Atticus: “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience – Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.”
Anderson concluded the presentation by telling the Kingwood group: “You’re the kind of people we want on jury duty.”
Devon Anderson dismissed the indictments against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt yesterday.
I have been asked several times to write about my choices for the local and statewide judicial races. Stan Stanart, the Harris County Clerk, recently told me of his sample ballot that allows voters to enter their name and address on his website and produce a personalized sample ballot; so, I decided to give it a try. Stan and his team have developed a program that allows each voter to create their own unique slate to post and send to friends. Think of it as Stan’s way of overcoming the slate machines. And, when you think about it, Stan has revolutionized the way we can share our selections. Running the election operations in the largest county in Texas always makes Stan and his guys the smartest guys in the room. They do a great job.
You will notice I left many unopposed judicial races blank. I do this to send a message. The message is clear for the Criminal District Judges – I am tired of you supporting Judge Susan Brown as the Chief Administrative Judge of the Criminal Courts – think Goforth, the runaway grand jury, Constable Victor Trevino, judicial bypasses, and Devon Anderson. I have intentionally left them blank, which will show up as an under vote. This sends a message. I, of course, skipped Devon Anderson.
You will notice that I voted for Stacey Bond. She got my vote for standing against prosecutorial misconduct in her court. I also voted for Rick Green over Paul Green for Place 5 on the Texas Supreme Court. I do like what has happened at the Texas Supreme Court, especially concerning the City of Houston cases like HERO. I previously wrote about Jim Leitner for Harris County Attorney. It makes no sense for his opponent, a five-year lawyer, to represent Harris County in all civil litigation and advise Commissioners Court. Jim is the only choice.
Create your own ballot, print my ballot, or use something else entirely. Most importantly, VOTE! Study the candidates and, if you do not know them or the issue, do not feel compelled to vote in that race.
On February 4th 2016, Lifesite News, Operation Rescue, Thomas More Society, and Texas Right to Life, joined in a press conference to denounce Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and call for her to dismiss the indictments against citizen journalists David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt. Operation Rescue presented 100,000 signatures gathered in just a few days in support of dismissing these indictments. Reverend Patrick Mahoney spoke eloquently and at length on the impact of silencing journalists opposed to Planned Parenthood’s operations. His message was that all journalists are at risk when the First Amendment is attacked. The press conference occurred at the same time that David Daleiden was in Houston to surrender himself and make a court appearance. Merritt appeared in court the previous day.
The local media coverage of the event missed the boat and failed to recognize Reverend Mahoney’s worldwide efforts to defend Christian journalists. Reverend Mahoney referenced the recent 60 Minutes piece, Anonymous, Inc., on lawyers and money laundering. This story followed a nonprofit group that secretly filmed 16 lawyers to see if they would consider moving suspicious funds into the United States. The secret videos depicted an investigator for the nonprofit group posing as a representative of a government official from a poor West African county who wanted to move millions of dollars in suspicious funds into the United States. This nonprofit spent time and resources creating the background and identity of the fake representative in order to investigate American lawyers.
How did we get here? In August 2015, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced that it would investigate Planned Parenthood after a series of undercover videos were released by the Center for Medical Progress – a group of citizen journalists, including Daleiden and Merritt. On January 25, 2016, the 232nd Grand Jury indicted David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt for the felony offense of tampering with a governmental record. Daleiden was also indicted for the misdemeanor offense of offering to purchase human organs. The felony cases were filed in the 338th District Court with Judge Brock Thomas, the former law partner of Devon Anderson.
Anderson was elected to the 177th District Court in 2004. Thomas served as judge of the 338th District Court from 2002 – 2008. Thomas and Anderson both lost reelection to their District Court benches in 2008 and formed Anderson & Thomas LLC and practiced criminal defense.
In October 2015, the grand jury that “investigated” Planned Parenthood and indicted Daleiden and Merritt was impaneled by Mary Lou Keel, presiding judge of the 232nd District Court. Keel is currently running for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which is the highest criminal court in the state. This is the court that will make the decision on Kelly Siegler’s misdeeds in the David Temple case.
At this point, there are more questions than answers. Some of the questions . . . How in the world did a grand jury tasked with investigating Planned Parenthood indict the two witnesses? Did the witnesses testify before the grand jury? Were they offered immunity? Were they given target letters to let them know that they were under investigation? And, most importantly, why didn’t the grand jury vote on whether to indict Planned Parenthood? Why did Mary Lou Keel extend this grand jury? And who asked her to extend it?
As you likely know, a grand jury presentation is one sided. The only people present in the grand jury room are the grand jurors and the prosecutors. The prosecutors may present witnesses. If they do, only the prosecutors and the grand jurors may question these witnesses. A witness goes into the room alone – without counsel.
The timeline is crucial to understand Devon’s lack of integrity.
On December 20, 2013, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, led by Devon Anderson announced that a grand jury no billed or refused to prosecute Douglas Karpen, an abortion doctor. Three whistleblowers came to Operation Rescue and alleged that Karpen was aborting babies beyond the legal time limit. These allegations were brought to the DA’s Office in May 2013 and were “extensively investigated” by the Houston Police Department Homicide Division, the Texas Rangers, and the DA’s Office. Following a two-month grand jury presentation, the grand jury declined to prosecute Dr. Karpen. The lead prosecutor in this investigation was Sunni Mitchell.
The filing deadline for the 2014 election was December 9, 2013; so, Devon waited until the filing deadline passed to announce the Karpen decision. If you don’t understand why this timing is important, ask Don Sumners – he defeated an incumbent in 2010. While defeating an incumbent is difficult, if a Republican Primary challenger can obtain the three major endorsements, Hotze, Lowry, and Polland, an incumbent may be defeated.
The filing deadline for the 2016 election was December 14, 2015. The 232nd grand jury was extended past their original December deadline and indicted the two whistle-blowers on January 25, 2016, which again gets Devon past the filing deadline. Again, it is important to understand this timeline because I guarantee you that Devon would have easily drawn a primary opponent if these indictments had occurred before the filing deadline. According to Planned Parenthood’s attorney, the grand jury did not even vote on whether to indict Planned Parenthood. So, what were they doing for four months?
Devon has been burning up the phones to pro-life political folks. She is trying to explain away her actions yet again. Comments by Karpen’s attorney, Chip Lewis, have assisted in the understanding of this situation: “I told them [DA’s Office] ‘Don’t hitch your wagons to this. They’re [Operation Rescue are] crooks, and it’s going to be exposed.” Lewis has donated over $30,000 to Devon Anderson’s District Attorney campaign. What kind of access does he get from these donations? Suppression of certain investigations? Favorable results?
Unfortunately for Devon, there is a fundamental flaw with the runaway grand jury argument that she is trying to spread with political pro-lifers concerning the Daleiden and Merritt indictments: if the grand jury produced a wrong result and meritless indictments, it is Devon’s obligation to dismiss the indictments as the elected District Attorney of Harris County. It is really that simple.
Devon may soon create a pro-choice division at the DA’s Office led by Sunni Mitchell because Devon again put Mitchell, her ace abortion prosecutor, on the Planned Parenthood case. Yes, the same prosecutor who led the no bill against Karpen has now led a grand jury to indict Daleiden and Merritt. Word on the street is that Mitchell was assisted by Inger Chandler, Chief of the Conviction Review Section, and wife of disgraced former Houston Police Department detective Ryan Chandler who was fired from HPD after failing to investigate murder cases. Big Jolly has covered that scandal extensively.
At the end of last week, Daleiden and Merritt posted bond and made their first court appearance. At their first appearance, Mitchell announced that the DA’s Office is offering pretrial diversion to both Daleiden and Merritt.
Pretrial diversion is an informal agreement or contract between a defendant and the DA’s Office where the prosecutors agree to dismiss the case after a period of time if the defendant stays clean and abides by certain conditions, watch out for the conditions. Prior to 2008 in Harris County, pretrial diversion was limited to select private school students charged with possession of small amounts marihuana. Pat Lykos expanded the use of pretrial diversion to possession of marihuana, theft, and DWI first offenders. The Andersons criticized the DIVERT program created by the Lykos administration, which offered pretrial diversion to first time DWI defendants. Then, Mike and Devon offered the same program under a different name. All that being said, it is extremely rare for a pretrial diversion to be offered to a felony defendant; but, that is exactly what Devon is offering to Daleiden and Merritt. Dan Cogdell, representing Merritt, said it best: “I’ve never had an offer of pretrial diversion on a first appearance.”
Although Devon claims to be pro-life, actions speak louder than words. Devon refuses to answer this simple question: have you ever granted a judicial bypass? This question would not violate the privacy of children seeking to bypass the parental notification laws. When you see Devon ask her why she won’t answer whether or not she granted judicial bypasses. There is no judicial cannon preventing her from answering whether she reviewed a judicial bypass application. The Texas Supreme Court in no way bars her from answering whether or not she has granted a bypass application and you can cite this as your source.
Simply said, you are who you associate with and Devon seems to find herself in troubling company. In her re-election bid, Devon is touting her human trafficking efforts, which are led by Ann Johnson, the human trafficking “expert” hired by Mike Anderson. In 2012, Johnson was the Democratic Party’s opponent to Sarah Davis. After graduating from law school, Johnson served as a briefing attorney to Leslie Brock Yates when Yates was on the Fourteenth Court of Appeals. It is important to understand that the Democratic Party sought a more pro-choice candidate than Rep. Sarah Davis. Ann Johnson was that candidate and was heavily supported by Planned Parenthood and their board members. Chip Lewis, Karpen’s attorney, contributed to the Johnson campaign and hosted a fundraiser for her in the gay community with Justin Wood, a Harris County prosecutor and Devon’s legislative liaison. While human trafficking is a laudable cause, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office is not providing results. It seems like there is a neon “massage” sign on every corner. We can certainly do better.
Leslie Brock Yates, Johnson’s former employer, lost her job in 2010. The dynamic duo of Devon and Susan Brown found a soft place for Yates to land – visiting judge in a special capital murder court. This court takes capital murder cases from the 22 District Courts for trial. How fair is it to a defendant to be tried by a judge with no accountability to the public? I digress. You may recognize the name Yates – the husband of Judge Yates, Terry, is Mr. Daleiden’s attorney . . . along with Jared Woodfill.
After Mike Anderson’s death, Woodfill, then Harris County Republican Party Chairman, nominated Devon to replace her husband. This was really disappointing to me because Woodfill was well aware of Devon’s reputation concerning judicial bypasses and he nominated her anyway. The executive committee of the Harris County Republican Party rejected her nomination 263-0. Two days later, Rick Perry appointed Devon to complete her husband’s term. The Executive Committee is to be congratulated for rejecting Jared’s nomination of Devon Anderson.
Devon’s hiring decisions are important to note because it demonstrates her true character and lack of integrity. In 2014, Devon hired Lauren Reeder, a Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast board member. Devon has created a pro-choice environment that is not only favorable to Planned Parenthood, it is now being used to destroy the pro-life movement. The damage nationally to the pro-life cause is tremendous and is fuel for the civil suits brought by Planned Parenthood against David Daleiden. Devon is willing to sacrifice the pro-life movement for votes in the general election.
The story gets worse, when Mike Anderson was elected, he immediately rehired Lester Blizzard and Bryan Vaclavik. Both men were charged with DWI offenses in 2011 and were represented by their buddy Chip Lewis. Devon has kept these folks and touts Blizzard’s work with money laundering operations. Contemporaneous with the indictments, Devon sent out a “vote for me in the bar poll” email that lists her “accomplishments”: (1) human trafficking efforts; (2) money laundering prosecutions; and (3) the prosecution of Harlem Lewis [a capital murder on video]. Yet, Anderson fails to provide specific details that demonstrate the successful prosecutions by her office and the feds are forced to prosecute people like Hortencia “Tencha” Medeles, who was convicted in April of operating a sex trafficking ring . It is also a bit odd that Blizzard’s investigations often involve defendants represented by Lewis. See Ricardo Baca, and Katherine Le.
In 2012, Lewis and Blizzard represented Dwayne Jordon and used Bryan Vaclavik as a witness. The issue is the appearance of impropriety. Just as his large donations provide access to the DA’s Office, the relationship that Lewis has with employees like Blizzard and Vaclavik provide access.
Following Judge Stacey Bond’s ruling about prosecutorial misconduct by two Harris County prosecutors, Ms. Merritt’s attorney, Dan Cogdell spoke to the media about his own interaction with these same prosecutors. Cogdell said “there is a cancer in that office that needs to be cut out.” Devon continues to defend these prosecutors even though their conduct is objectively inexcusable. For now, it is a good thing to be a Friend of Devon.
The Texas District & County Attorneys Association (TDCAA) certainly has Devon’s back. TDCAA is a non-profit organization that advocates for Texas prosecutors. Apparently Devon does not believe this organization does enough because she also sends her own lobbyist prosecutor, Justin Wood, to Austin for each legislative session.
The question here is one of judgment and integrity. The liberals are thrilled with Devon’s prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt. Lisa Falkenberg, Sheila Jackson Lee, and Annise Parker are tripping over themselves to support Devon. These indictments were no accident and targeted to this audience. The praises for the liberal elite continue to pour in for Devon and this was her intended purpose by the indictments. Devon thought that she had the Republicans wrapped up and needed to broaden her base and the prosecution of Daleiden and Merritt fit that bill. Ladies and gentleman, the verdict is in and Devon Anderson is pro-choice, no question about it. She certainly is willing to let the pro-life movement suffer in order for her to broaden her base.
In recent years, I have found myself in sharp disagreement with Terry Lowry over local political issues and his endorsement of certain candidates. This season, Brother Lowry invited me to write an Op-Ed in his Link Letter, which is mailed to 195,000 Republican households in Harris County. After some contemplation, I accepted this invitation and I told Terry I wanted to ask the readers to take action, which I never do on Big Jolly. My Op-Ed discusses Devon Anderson and her persecution of two brave anti-abortion activists, Daleiden and Merritt, and I ask the readers to skip Devon Anderson on the primary ballot. There is something that you can do – SKIP DEVON on March 1, 2016. Although Devon thought that she would box Harris County Republicans in to voting for her by delaying her conduct until after the filing deadline, you can still send her a message.
Harris County, we deserve better.
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.
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….
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.
On 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.
-$30,000 (State Bar of Texas)
-$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.
Good 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.
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!
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.
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.
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 based 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.