DA Debate

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Hours before Devon Anderson and Kim Ogg debated last Monday night at Windsor Village United Methodist Church, one of Devon’s lead prosecutors was the subject of prosecutorial misconduct allegations in a Fort Bend County courtroom. Prosecutorial misconduct has become a theme of the Anderson administration.

The DA debate, moderated by Khambrel Marshall from KPRC Local 2, occurred just minutes before 84 million people watched the Trump-Clinton debate. Think about that for a second. The race for Harris County District Attorney is easily the most contested race in the county and the Anderson-Blakemore crew decided to debate Ogg the same night of the most watched political debate in history.

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Kim Ogg

Since the 2014 election, Anderson has been on the defensive for a variety of issues including several prosecutorial misconduct allegations; the [unjust] prosecution of two pro-life activists; a lawsuit that exposed the fact that prosecutors jailed a rape victim; even more jailed witnesses, including another rape victim; misuse of the asset forfeiture process; and a complete lack of diversity in the leadership ranks.

Devon used two defenses to this litany of scandals: personally attacking Kim Ogg and blame shifting.

Anderson attacked Ogg for previously running as a Republican. Anderson also attacked Ogg for voting in the 2008 Harris County Republican Primary. Instead of discussing her own attributes, Anderson tried to point out to the black community that Kim did not vote for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary campaign. Again, an interesting approach for someone defending her own Republican bona fides and one I enjoy sharing with Republican voters.

I do find it interesting that Kim Ogg’s father, former State Senator Jack Ogg, was one of the last pro-life Democrats in Texas. I was wondering if Anderson was going to bring that up; but, she is likely unaware of Houston political history.

Interestingly, Anderson is still defending her office’s decision to jail rape victims. While this does not surprise me, Anderson’s lack of legal responsibility blows me away. Let me explain. Most of you have likely seen Anderson’s video from Arizona defending the actions of her office. Since the news broke, Anderson has provided a detailed description of the trial court prosecutor’s actions. This is a problem because, whether or not they are true, the prosecutor’s actions were likely outside the scope of his employment, which would pierce his governmental immunity. This is why most smart lawyers say, “I cannot comment on pending litigation.” Devon Anderson is not a smart lawyer.

Ogg quoted hard data to demonstrate the lack of racial diversity in leadership positions at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. Simply said, the racial diversity in the office in no way reflects the ethnic composition of the county.

In addressing the series of prosecutorial misconduct allegations against the District Attorney’s Office, Anderson claimed that none had been substantiated. In actuality, Judge Stacey Bond found that two prosecutors intentionally caused a mistrial in a highly publicized case. Attorney Stanley Schneider said that “Harris County residents should be troubled by the DA’s office condoning conduct like this.” After Bond’s ruling, attorney Dan Cogdell said, “It says to me there’s a cancer in that office that needs to be cut out.”

The latest problems involve destroyed evidence at Precinct Four and Anderson’s failure to timely notify defense counsel. Anderson’s office is a scandal a week and this will continue. She is in way over her head and has gotten terrible political and legal advice from those that surround her.

At one point during the debate, Anderson described her office’s transparency and a large chuckle erupted from the audience. Let’s just take the Precinct Four situation. Instead of accepting responsibility, Anderson shifted blame to Constable Mark Herman. Anderson claimed that her office could not obtain reliable case information from Constable Herman’s office, which is why Anderson’s office waited six months to notify defendants that the evidence in their case was destroyed. Meanwhile, defendants went to prison and, now, defendants may sue the county over these civil rights violations. Once again, the taxpayers lose with Anderson in office.

Anderson is wasting your tax dollars by permitting her prosecutors to exercise bad judgment and unethical conduct. She is also using the entire budget for salaries and is dependent on asset forfeiture funds for everything else.

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

If you watch the debate, you will witness Anderson’s negative personal attacks against Ogg. Anderson’s defensive posture and blame shifting does not warrant Republican support. Most folks agree that Anderson is weighing down the ticket. It is time for the Anderson administration to end. Otherwise, Anderson’s misbehavior will continue as a stain on Harris County Republicans during every election cycle and lead to more problems for years to come. Most importantly, we are not safer with Anderson in office. Violent crime is prominent throughout the county. Anderson was a product of the slates and as Paul Simpson has waged a war against the three prominent slates, he continues to endorse and support the worst candidate in the Republican field, which drags down all of the candidates. Watch the debate and see for yourself.

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“I feel like Atticus Finch”

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Houston Chronicle Photo: Michael Ciaglo

Houston Chronicle Photo: Michael Ciaglo

Audio Devon Anderson, February 6, 2016

Two days after David Daleiden made his first court appearance in Harris County, Devon Anderson spoke to the Kingwood Area Republican Women at their Mardi Gras Ball. She told the crowd that three of the “best prosecutors in the office” were on the case. With sixty years between these three prosecutors, Anderson was confident that justice would prevail.

Anderson reminded the crowd that she must “follow the law.” She acknowledged that she was being asked to dismiss the cases against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt; but, she said that she would not do so and had no “legal reason” to dismiss the cases.

“I am a Christian . . . My faith gives me strength every day,” said Anderson. She emphasized that she hoped Daleiden and Merritt would accept the pretrial diversion because it was a “sweet deal” and would “end this spectacle.”

Then, Anderson went back to her faith, telling the crowd again that she gets strength from her faith: “God is an amazing force in my life. When you most need Him, He steps forward.”

Anderson added that she was reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, with her daughter. “I feel like Atticus Finch,” Anderson told the crowd. Atticus Finch is a fictional character in the book based on Harper Lee’s father, Amasa Coleman Lee, an attorney in Alabama who represented black defendants. The book focuses on Finch’s representation of Tom Robinson, an innocent black man wrongfully accused of sexual assault.

Anderson specifically cited a famous quote from chapter eleven of the beloved book where Scout, the daughter of Atticus, is speaking with her father about the importance of Robinson’s case:

They’re certainly entitled to think that, and they’re entitled to full respect for their opinion,” said Atticus, “but, before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

Devon left out a crucial preceding sentence by Atticus: “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience – Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.”

Anderson concluded the presentation by telling the Kingwood group: “You’re the kind of people we want on jury duty.”

Devon Anderson dismissed the indictments against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt yesterday.

@DonPHooper

#neverdevon

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Amanda Culbertson, pay up!

Amanda,

By now you know there is a “turn over” order sitting on Judge Hughes’ desk for your assets. Understand, you wanted to make this personal so now I do too.

You need to get Scott and Chip and go down to Hughes’ court and explain why the order should not be granted. Understand that the argument should include some sort of explanation of why you filed a frivolous lawsuit since you made 500,000 dollars over the last two years. We will get every dime of your money and with a letter of recommendation from us for law school.

Yes, my hand is sore from slapping your lawyers around the courthouse and commissioner’s court, again. You should notice a missing item from yesterday’s agenda from Commissioner’s Court.

Please keep driving up the legal cost, we are not quite there yet.

Thanks for playing!

 

 

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Oh Chipper, I think Hughes is talking to you!

Hughes AF order

From Big Jolly

http://bigjollypolitics.com/2013/11/23/rachel-palmer-wins/

Rachel Palmer wins again

 BY  

ADA Rachel Palmer

ADA Rachel Palmer

One thing about being bullied is that if you are willing to step up and fight back, you usually win. Harris County Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer, who along with former Harris County District Attorney Pay Lykos was the subject of a politically motivated witch hunt, was willing to step up and fight back. And win she did.

This past Wednesday, Federal Judge Lynn Hughes issued an order forcing the plaintiffs in a frivolous lawsuit against Palmer, Amanda Culbertson and Jorge Wong, to pay  Palmer $82,101 in attorney’s fees. Click here to view the order.

Because Culbertson and Wong brought baseless claims in an attempt to construct a case out of an administrative policy they did not like, they must pay the reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in defending their suit. They may use legal action in their politics, but they are responsible for the consequences.

Let me repeat that last line:

They may use legal action in their politics, but they are responsible for the consequences.

I remain convinced that the real culprit here was the attorney pushing Culbertson and Wong, Chip B. Lewis, along with other supporters of former Harris County DA Mike Anderson (deceased). Hopefully Culbertson and Wong will find a way to make Mr. Lewis pay the $82,101 because they were nothing more than pawns used in an attempt to smear Palmer and Lykos. Perhaps the campaign account of Anderson could chip in because that campaign certainly profited from the smears.

It is an absolute disgrace that these people used a runaway grand jury as a tool to get Anderson elected to office and then used a couple of pawns like Culbertson and Wong to continue the smear.

Congratulations to Rachel Palmer for being a fighter and standing up to the bullies, although it is no surprise. She fights for the citizens of Harris County every day in the courtroom, putting the worst of the worst in our society behind bars where they belong. Those now in positions of power at the DA’s office continue to hold her back and bypass her for promotion. It will take time for this smear job to go away (and the current regime to get booted out of office) but perhaps someday the people of Harris County will recognize her work and elect her to lead the DA’s office and put integrity back in the place.

 

 

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