The List

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People were wondering about the list and seemed real curious about it. I will add this is a partial list. I created a link to the ORG Chart below.

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The list that came out for future employers was this one.

And for comparison purposes where these folks use to be.

11 14 16 DAO Org Chart

Wayne, Lance is not political, this is him standing next to Kelly Siegler at her announcement to run for DA. If this was a courtroom I would hold up this photo and ask you to find him guilty and a liar.

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DA Debate

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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.

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Kim Ogg

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.

There are only two ways to view this debate: via Ogg’s Facebook page and KPRC Local 2.

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.

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“I feel like Atticus Finch”

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Houston Chronicle Photo: Michael Ciaglo

Houston Chronicle Photo: Michael Ciaglo

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.

@DonPHooper

#neverdevon

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Don Hooper’s Sample Ballot

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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.

Marked Up Sample Ballot

Marked Sample Ballot

 

 

 

Sample Ballot Pic 2

 

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Skip Devon Anderson

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Operation Rescue Photo

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.

Brock Thomas

Judge Brock Thomas

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.

Sunni Mitchell

Sunni Mitchell

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.

Sunni and Devon

Sunni and Devon

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.

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

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.”

Devon and Ann Johnson

Ann Johnson and Devon

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.

Bryan Vaclavik.php

Bryan Vaclavik

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.

FullSizeRenderThe 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.

File Feb 08, 7 22 03 AMThe 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.

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