“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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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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