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.