“I feel like Atticus Finch”

Image

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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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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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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Devon Anderson cancels (some say declines) remaining DA debates

Don Hooper

Devon Anderson, the interim DA, has found herself in a position where she can no longer debate Kim Ogg and has cancelled (some say has declined) all remaining debates. Political consultants often warn prosecutors that their trial skills do not translate well into the political arena. That is certainly true for Devon.

Over the last few weeks, Harris County voters have seen three debates between Kim Ogg and Devon Anderson: Fox 26 debate (in three parts: 1, 2, 3); Red, White, and Blue on PBS; and Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

On Sunday’s Newsmakers show, Devon’s scowls grew more pronounced, especially when discussing her special deals for friends of the DA. When the topic turned to Denise Pratt, Shawn Carrizal, and Ryan Chandler, Devon provided a look into the Anderson administration. She said that she was forced into a secret deal with Denise Pratt because she did not want that case to linger like the case against Victor Trevino, the Precinct Six Constable. And Devon said that she did not tell the public about the Pratt secret deal because she was not asked about the case. Devon and Pratt had the same political consultant, Allen Blakemore.

As a reminder, Trevino was indicted by a Harris County grand jury on November 16, 2012, for misapplication of fiduciary property, abuse of office, and tampering with a government record. Trevino is represented by Chip Lewis. Lewis was at the forefront of Mike Anderson’s campaign for Harris County District Attorney. Even though Anderson told Big Jolly that he did not have a special relationship with Lewis, over $10,000 was transferred from Lewis’s pocketbook to Anderson’s campaign coffers.

Lewis told reporters that Anderson’s victory proved that “our electorate cares about the integrity of the DA’s office.” Meanwhile, Lewis was busy informing Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack about secret grand jury matters. When Mike Anderson passed away, Lewis thought that Governor Perry’s appointment of Devon Anderson was “in the best interest of Harris County.”Lewis, someone who makes a living defending folks, also said that he understands that “Judge Anderson and Judge Hill discussed [Anderson’s inheritance of the position of District Attorney] extensively.”

Since January 2013, Trevino’s case has been reset 13 times and transferred from the 351st District Court to the court of Susan Brown, the same judge that led the runaway grand jury. Devon told Newsmakers viewers that she made a special deal with Pratt to prevent a delayed process like the Trevino case. The problem with that statement is that she is prosecuting Trevino and delaying the case now until after the election. Watch what happens after the election is over.

Then, Devon brought up the Ryan Chandler situation. Chandler is the former Houston Police Department homicide detective who was fired for lying and incompetence. Devon claimed to have no information on the Chandler situation because she recused herself from the investigation. Kim Ogg asked Devon to ask the court, once again, Susan Brown, to unseal the orders for more transparency. Devon told the audience that she originally asked the court to seal the orders but her hands were now tied because she recused herself. Meanwhile, Lewis has been making calls to the media on Chandler’s behalf. Shouldn’t he be working on getting Victor Trevino a Devon Anderson sweetheart deal?

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

Devon presumably recused herself from Chandler’s investigation because Chandler is married to Inger Hampton, leader of Anderson’s conviction integrity unit. Wrongly convicted individuals must feel safe with Hampton leading that charge. Open records requests revealed that Hampton was covering for Chandler regarding the absence of evidence in criminal cases and sending messages containing case information directly to Chandler.

Devon said that she asked Susan Brown to appoint an attorney pro tem. We know that Brown appointed Jeff Hohl, a former intern at the Harris County District Attorney’s office and current Montgomery County prosecutor. After a perfunctory investigation, the Montgomery County District Attorney, Brett Ligon, a former lawyer for the HPD union and another Allen Blakemore client, announced that no charges would be filed against Chandler.

So, here we are. Susan Brown sent the case to Jeff Hohl, a former Harris County DA intern who was licensed in November 2010. Has this guy even tried a murder case? Is he capable of evaluating a dirty cop who ignored murder victims?

The fact that Jeff Hohl was the attorney pro tem may be shocking to you because everyone was led to believe that the attorney pro tem was Brett Ligon. Then, Phil Grant, the first assistant in Montgomery County, claimed that he investigated the Chandler case. Grant told the Houston Chronicle that he was the attorney who “made the decision.” Of course, my favorite part of that Chronicle article is the fact that Blakemore is referred to as “Mark Blakemore.”

Chuck Rosenthal

Chuck Rosenthal

Throughout this article I mention a number of connections. These connections are crucial to understanding the Anderson-Lewis-Brown cabal. Devon’s latest campaign finance report provides more insight into her administration. Chip Lewis gave Devon two donations: $1,000 on September 17 and $9,100 on September 25. On September 24, Devon accepted $2,000 from former Harris County DA Chuck Rosenthal, who resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that he sent racist and sexist emails while serving as DA. HPOU who is defending Ryan Chandler and working with him to get his job back, donated $5,000 on September 24.Chandler HPD Photo

Throughout the debates, Devon stresses the importance of the human trafficking division. She believes that human trafficking is one of the most serious offenses facing Harris County. That means that she has staffed this division with only two prosecutors. Until recently, the division was manned by one prosecutor, Ann Johnson, hired by Mike Anderson. I guess Dr. Steven Hotze was not consulted on this hire. This is the same Ann Johnson who ran against Sarah Davis in 2012 for House District 134. Shockingly enough, Chip Lewis hosted a fundraiser for Ann. I wonder what Ann thinks about the latest push poll for Devon that emphasizes Kim’s sexuality. Yes, the whisper campaign against Kim Ogg has begun because that is the only card left for Devon to play.

Yesterday, the Houston Bar Association released the bar poll. Kim won that even though Devon Anderson’s office has over 300 votes and should have easily won. Her leadership style must not have won her too many friends in the office.

When asked about the Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of Ogg, Devon claimed that she was proud to not receive that endorsement. Devon’s exact response was: “I feel like I’m on the right track if the Houston Chronicle is not endorsing me.” Funny. If that is the case, why did Devon attend the Chronicle interview?

What can the rank and file prosecutors be thinking right now? I feel sympathy for many of them who have endured the succession of leadership. The truth is that Devon Anderson will do and say anything to be elected. And her besties within the office – the same people who worked against Pat Lykos within the office – have established a mean girls atmosphere where cliques reign supreme. There are still good people who work hard every day at the Harris County District Attorney’s office. What do they think about the FOD (friends of Devon) whispering about Kim’s sexuality and making her private life a political issue?

During the debates, Devon said that Mike told her that he wanted Devon to take his place as District Attorney. Did they tell Belinda Hill?

UPDATE

After this story was posted, Sara Kinney, a representative of the Anderson campaign and an employee of Blakemore & Associates, contacted David Jennings with two suggested edits.

The Anderson campaign claims that Devon Anderson has “declined” further debates rather than “cancelled” all remaining debates. Since August, the League of Women Voters (LWV) has been working with both candidates to schedule a televised debate. After the Houston Newsmakers show was filmed, Anderson withdrew her participation in the LWV debate.

The Anderson campaign’s second suggested edit concerns Anderson’s reaction to not receiving the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle. They did not like my original sentence: “When asked about the Houston Chronicle’s endorsement of Ogg, Devon claimed that she was proud to not receive that endorsement.” Rather than quote Anderson, I provided the readers with a link to the story and a brief summary. I encourage you to click over to the debate on the Houston Newsmakers website and watch the exchange (at 16:50) and decide for yourself if my characterization was correct.

The post Devon Anderson cancels (some say declines) remaining DA debates appeared first on Big Jolly Politics.

 

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Harris County DA, HPD Homicide scandal widens

Chronicle Reporter James Pinkerton continues to kill it. His latest Easter Sunday article includes information from the recently obtained disciplinary records for the officers fired and disciplined in the HPD homicide unit scandal. The revelations were countless and shocking. Let me try and summarize the facts.

  • The disciplinary records reveal that the investigation involving (former) HPD Homicide Detective Ryan Chandler began because members of the District Attorney’s office, presumably prosecutors, complained that Chandler refused to testify about his cases at trial. Stunning.
  • HPD Homicide and members of the District Attorney’s office knew about Chandler’s problems and, possibly, the missing files, when Pat Lykos was the Harris County District Attorney.
  • HPD Chief Charles McClelland called Chandler a “liar” with “a severe lack of sound judgment.” Chandler failed to adequately investigate 21 cases, including 15 deaths, misplaced files and evidence, and falsified police reports.
  • The disciplinary records state that Chandler made false entries into offense reports.
  • In a case where a convenience store clerk was murdered, HPD developed the suspect in 2007 and failed to investigate the case until May 2010.
  • After a 2005 murder, two eyewitnesses quickly identified a suspect. Even though a suspect was identified, Council Member Ed Gonzalez’s only effort to find the suspect was to contact the suspect’s wife via the telephone. Years later, the suspect was deported to Honduras without prosecution on the homicide case and the victim’s family is left without justice.
  • The Harris County District Attorney’s office forwarded the case to Montgomery County District Attorney, Brett Ligon, a former attorney for the Houston Police Officers’ Union (HPOU). Chandler is now represented by an attorney for the HPOU.
  • Ligon concluded that no criminal wrongdoing occurred without an impartial grand jury investigation.

If the HPD Homicide Division was having problems, shouldn’t the sitting Harris County District Attorney be told immediately about these issues? We know that, at a minimum, the problems with Chandler began to come to light when Pat Lykos was the District Attorney. Shouldn’t someone have told the sitting district attorney about a homicide detective’s refusal to testify?

Following the publication of Pinkerton’s story, I spoke with Lykos and Jim Leitner, her First Assistant. Neither Lykos nor Leitner knew anything about an investigation into Chandler or any other homicide detective. This is stunning because the article by Pinkerton states that, in 2012, members of the District Attorney’s office complained about Chandler to the Houston Police Department.

The revelation of Chandler’s refusal to testify presents more questions than answers.

  • Who first discovered Ryan Chandler’s refusal to testify?
  • Did they tell anyone?
  • Did they take any action?
  • Who knew about Ryan Chandler’s refusal to testify?
  • When did they know?
  • When did HPD Homicide learn about Ryan Chandler’s refusal to testify?
  • Did they tell anyone?
  • Did they take any action?
  • Were individuals convicted without Chandler’s testimony? If so, who are these defendants?
  • Has anyone identified these cases to the defense bar?
  • Did the Anderson administration know about Chandler’s refusal to testify in homicide cases when they accepted his $550 campaign donation?
  • Was Allen Blakemore, the Anderson (and Ligon) administration’s campaign consultant, aware of the HPD issues?

What about the missing files?

  • When did HPD learn that homicide files were missing from the division?
  • Did they tell anyone?
  • Did they take any action?
  • When did the Harris County District Attorney’s office learn that homicide files were missing from the division?
  • Who from the Harris County District Attorney’s office knew that homicide files were missing from the division?
  • When did they know it?
  • Did they tell anyone?
  • Did they take any action?
  • Has anyone identified these cases to the defense bar?

Clearly, Chandler was very excited about the Anderson administration. Not only did he

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

Ryan Chandler and bride to be

donate $550 to the campaign, he attended the victory party at a midtown restaurant. Here he is, wearing an Anderson sticker, with his girlfriend.

Anderson Campaign Finance Report 12.21.11 Donation

Anderson Campaign Finance Report 4.26.12 Donation

How could prosecutors at the Harris County District Attorney’s office know about Chandler’s refusal to testify without telling Lykos or Leitner? Were they friends with Chandler’s girlfriend, a Chief felony prosecutor and leader of the conviction integrity unit? Were they waiting for the Anderson administration to sweep this under the rug? Did they ever plan to tell the defense bar about these problems? Will there ever be any Brady disclosures?

There needs to be an impartial investigation by the Washington based Department of Justice Public Integrity Unit or the Texas Rangers. One of the Democratic Judges needs to appoint a Special Prosecutor. This is public corruption at its worse involving law enforcement and members of the Harris County District Attorney’s office.

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Jim Leitner

Friday, October 19, 2012. Jim Leitner’s last day as First Assistant District Attorney at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Jim is board certified in criminal law with three decades of experience as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, and appellate attorney. After serving as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney, Jim served as the First Assistant District Attorney in Bell and Lampasas counties. Additionally, Jim retired as a Commander with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves after 26 years of service. He was activated during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

This is the resume of the man who has led the Harris County District Attorney’s Office over the last four years. What this resume does not say is the fact that Jim Leitner is an honorable, genuine, and good human being and lawyer.

During the demise of Chuck Rosenthal in 2007 – 2008, multiple prosecutors and “leaders” at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office begged Jim to run for District Attorney. “Please run – you are our only chance,” said many of them. After prayer and consideration, Leitner made the decision to seek the office of Harris County District Attorney. Quickly afterwards, the majority of the prosecutors abandoned Leitner’s campaign and placed their support behind their gal, Kelly Siegler. After Pat Lykos defeated Siegler, the prosecutors began begging Leitner to serve as First Assistant in a Lykos administration because they saw that as their “only way.”

Again, after prayer and consideration, Leitner abandoned a very successful criminal defense practice and took the position of First Assistant. Within days, the same prosecutors who begged him to run for District Attorney and serve as First Assistant turned on him. Of course, the leader of that group was Louis Murat “Murray” Newman IV, an individual who was twice fired from the office. After Lykos was elected, Leitner told Newman and approximately fifteen other staff members that they would not be retained in a Lykos administration. Newman responded by posting this [as posted – no grammatical corrections made]:

On the 12 Days of Christmas, Pat Lykos gave to the Harris County Assistant DAs:

12 jurors chosen witout a preemptive strike used by the state;

11 free “crooked cop passes” from Mr. Police Integrity himself……Clint Greenwood;

10 internal memos re: unprofessionalism of reading toxic, antiregime blogs at work;

9 new ashtrays for the 6th floor smoking lounge;

8 days of Lykos Hell every single week;

7 insulted yarmulka-wearing witnesses;

6 emails from my family wanting an explanation for why I won’t be visiting as planned for New Years;

5 new pantsuits;

4 free tickets for a reception on January 1, 2009 that I’m forced to attend;

3 washed out judges;

2 Leitner balls; and

A little troll from a spider hole….

Following this post, Ken Magidson, the interim District Attorney, fired Newman. So, from that moment forward, Newman began posting grotesque untruths about Lykos, Leitner, and anyone perceived to be affiliated with the Lykos administration. This included multiple posts about Leitner’s genitals and even cruel posts about his wonderful wife and family.

It is now clear that, from the beginning, the same prosecutors who begged Leitner to run and serve as First Assistant worked against him and every “friend” of the Lykos administration. Even individuals working as “leaders” within the office have steadily worked against Leitner simply to prove the point that they run the courthouse. Within minutes of a meeting inside the office, the certain specific details would be published on Newman’s blog. This occurred time and time again – even with sensitive data.

At this point, a reader with no link to the courthouse may think that this is simply a “he said, she said” and choose to not “take sides.” Let me offer this piece of evidence that, I believe, will make you change your mind.

On Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., someone from inside of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office accessed Leitner’s computer and served him with a warning.

So, someone who is tasked with providing justice to our community accessed Leitner’s computer and told him that the “war” over the courthouse was not over. If this sounds too ridiculous to be true, I agree with you that it is ridiculous; but, unfortunately, this political war over the courthouse is real. Now, maybe you can understand that the use of the 185th Grand Jury as a political weapon was true as well.

It is important to me that the public has access to the truth about Leitner and the other honest leaders within the Lykos administration. Newman and many bad actors within the office have worked to bring dishonor based upon lies to many good people and, unfortunately, Jim is just one example.

The people of Harris County lose with his exit from the office. The people who have systematically spread lies and undermined his leadership, including Mike Anderson and Murray Newman, owe Harris County citizens and Jim Leitner an apology. Certain members of the media, including Ted Oberg, owe Jim Leitner and our citizens an apology for serving as surrogates of these individuals.

I wish Jim the very best.

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(Updated) Murray Newman,Special Prosecutors, and Motion for new trial! (Updated)

185th Blogger and Anderson supporter

After all of Murray Newman’s misdeeds, Newman now dares to accuse the DA’s office of misconduct in the appointment of a special prosecutor following the revelation of evidence pointing to a defendant’s innocence. Secret grand jury information out of the 185th regularly appeared on his blog, you would have thought he was on the grand jury.

In all of Murray’s diatribes, he failed to mentioned the cozy relationship between Trisha Pollard, the grand juryforeman of the 185th, to Mike Anderson and his wife Devon Anderson. Murray never mentioned Stephen St. Martin’s large financial contribution to Kelly Siegler’s campaign. Judge Susan Brown’s payment of $3,000 to Devon Anderson. Stephen St. Martin and Jim Mount’s roles in the 185th grand jury will go down as one of the most disgusting occurrences in Harris County history. The 185th Grand Jury was nothing more than a photo op for the Mike Anderson campaign and the results of this grand jury speak for themselves.

The filing states that Kelly, in the least, failed to provide the defense with exculpatory evidence.The more important question is for Murray’s clients: Does your lawyer believe in prosecutors withholding exculpatory evidence? Judges you may want to think this through before appointing this fool.

(Updated)

Kelly and Paul playing make believe

So now we have all the players on the field and it seems the witness has representation, Paul Doyle. You may remember Paul Doyle as the straddlee from the first Susan Wright trial. Riley Joe Sanders has a lawyer too, Chip Lewis. Now, how is it that the witness and the stoned neighbor end up with these fine lawyers? Did Riley Joe have a lawyer at the trial? Did the witness see the People magazine article about Paul and Kelly, figure out that Paul is now a defense lawyer, and give him a call?Did Riley see Chip on Kelly’s campaign finance report and think to give him a call? I do agree with Paul on one thing, something certainly stinks and it isn’t Dick DeGuerin.  Stay tuned…………………………..

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Legal Fees

Defending yourself from political corruption can be expensive. It is entirely dependent on the nature and motivation of your adversary.

We now know that some very desperate people were willing to create a completely bogus grand jury “investigation” to unseat Judge Lykos and get their guy-of-the-moment, Mike Anderson, elected. Naturally, an evil plot produces victims and Steve Morris was certainly a victim.

It is outrageous that a public servant does not have legal protection from this sort of illegal activity. For some reason, prosecutors are not protected from legal expenses incurred while performing job duties.

Steve Morris absolutely has the right to recover his legal expenses from the unethical activities surrounding the 185th grand jury. The contempt allegation was completely false. The sole purpose of that grand jury was to provide photo ops for the Anderson campaign. This is similar to the single purpose of Ted Oberg’s reporting: to provide clips for Anderson’s commercials.

As the supervisors over the grand jury division, Steve Morris and Carl Hobbs were on the front line of the battle against grand jury corruption. There was never any truth to the allegation that Carl Hobbs or Steve Morris did anything wrong. Susan Brown knew this too and recused herself to save the embarrassment of Randy Schaeffer revealing the bogus show cause motion and contempt filing. The fact that Brown recused herself and a special prosecutor was appointed gave Murray and the morons another opportunity to fuss about a special prosecutor. God bless Steve Morris and all of the victims of the 185th smear job.

For some unknown reason, Chip “Taliban” Lewis appeared before Commissioners Court last week to protest reimbursement to Morris. Lewis claimed that “Mike Anderson’s money” should never be given to Morris because the contempt was dismissed and that certainly did not mean innocent. Lewis clients on the go forward your guilty unless a jury says your innocent. That is an awfully big opinion from someone who is not registered to vote in Harris County. As a non-voter, maybe Lewis does not understand that a general election will be held in November.

Of course, only one local news channel covered the request for reimbursement. Can you guess which one? I will give you a hint and you can guess the number 1-13 and 1-12 don’t count.

The “folks” who orchestrated the illegal grand jury investigation, along with Oberg, should pay the legal fees incurred by all of the victims.

Mike Anderson PR consultant

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