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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Kelly Siegler and the Jiggery-Pokery Gang

Kelly Siegler DA Announcement Photo

On Thursday, Judge Larry Gist issued 36 findings of prosecutorial misconduct against Kelly Siegler in the David Temple murder case. I wanted to give you a little background on Ms. Siegler so the Big Jolly readers can remain the most knowledgeable folks on Harris County criminal justice issues.

Kelly and the Jiggery-Pokery Gang united for Kelly’s unsuccessful DA bid in 2008. The gang existed in many forms long before 2008; but, Kelly’s 2008 campaign announcement provided the first opportunity for a public group photo. The gang photo clarifies their unification to the outside viewer.

Like all gangs, there is a hierarchy. Ms. Siegler is the central figure and, generally, close proximity to the leader in the photo denotes a higher rank; although, a few things have changed since 2008. The judiciary members are not as obvious; but, they are certainly a very important part of this gang. Some judges, like Susan Brown, act as capos within the organization. The group also acts to protect other gang members or affiliates, not unlike most street gangs.

The gang’s name has changed over the years. More recently, I renamed the group the Jiggery-Pokey Gang after reading Justice Scalia’s Obamacare dissent. I think the term fittingly describes this group and their operations.

Jiggery-pokery: Dishonest or suspicious activity.

David Temple is a difficult case because so many have prejudged his guilt David Temple Murder Trialbased on Kelly’s facts. Heck, he was already convicted and sentenced. He was cheating on his pregnant wife and later married his mistress. It is easy to hate his behavior. But, the current issue is not about David Temple’s innocence. It is about fundamental fairness and justice. A rigged game is not justice.

When the wrong man is convicted, we are all to blame. It is the responsibility of every citizen, voter, and human being to learn about our criminal justice system and make sure that justice for all actually means something.

We, as Harris County citizens, need to take very seriously who we elect as DA and misdemeanor and felony judges. It cannot be a popularity contest foisted on the precinct chairs by the political consultants. The Jiggery-Pokery Gang has a history. Their affiliates have a history. And certain political consultants, like Allen Blakemore and Mary Jane Smith, are the promoters of these gang members.

Why is the gang designation important? It is crucial for citizens, particularly those outside of the criminal justice system, to understand that Kelly Siegler’s actions are not an isolated incident. Kelly intentionally and purposefully withheld exculpatory evidence in a criminal prosecution. Craig Goodhart, Kelly’s assistant on the Temple trial, has been accused of similar impropriety in the Linda Carty case.  Retired DEA Special Agent Charles Mathis alleges that Connie Spence threatened to question him about a fictional affair with Linda Carty.  Lance Long and Murray Newman, Kelly disciples, were accused of pressuring witnesses to lie in the Antonio Williams case.

“Mr. Long and the investigators pressured me to testify that Antonio was at the scene and was the shooter. They stated to me that if I helped them out, they would help out.”

Excerpt from an affidavit by Sharonda Cooper, a neighbor who testified against Antonio Williams.

This is just a sampling of the prosecutorial misconduct developed and perpetrated by the gang.

The Jiggery-Pokery Gang furthers their agenda in a number of ways. Remember, for the most part, these are lawyers and highly educated people operating in and around the DA’s office. Like all gangs, they use tools common to their surroundings. Here, the gang uses the grand jury system, media, courts, and certain judges to further their agenda.

The DA’s office is very similar to junior high or high school; so, it is very simple for the inner circle to use their popularity and cunning ways to get their way. The group treats Kelly like a deity or party-animal homecoming queen.

Nothing that has come out concerning Siegler’s prosecution of David Temple is new. Siegler employed the exact same methods used by Ken Anderson on Michael Morton, an innocent man wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in Williamson County. In the Morton case, the prosecutor lost his law license and went to jail.

The media is culpable in the gang’s rise to power. So often, the media relies on information used in their stories provided by gang members. This is an important fact because it allows the gang members to assert their narrative. Siegler carefully uses her minions to plant stories in the media, which are used to build her image and television career. Think about how often Chip Lewis, a Kelly crony, is quoted by reporters. It is a game and justice is not the goal.

The win-at-all-costs mentality flourished during the Rosenthal administration. Chuck Rosenthal allowed Kelly and others to run amok.

Devon Anderson promised to return the DA’s office back to the old days, which is code to the gang members for win-at-all-costs. Many members of Kelly’s crew also roll with Devon. The Lykos administration threatened to out this group and their misdeeds; so, they only had one choice: to destroy reputations. That is why, when Kelly ran for DA in 2008, Murray Newman, Kelly’s Minister of Propaganda, created a blog to perpetuate the Kelly myth.

It is high time for people to know the truth about injustice in Harris County. David Temple’s lawyers have asked that an attorney pro tem or special prosecutor be appointed. This would be a start; but, as in the Michael Morton case involving Ken Anderson and the Anthony Graves case, a Court of Inquiry was formed to investigate the misdeeds on a much broader level. If you have been a reader of this blog for any length of time, you are aware of lots of misdeeds reported here involving the District Attorney’s office. It is time for the Republican Party to join with others and lead the charge to clean up the courthouse and the District Attorney’s office.

Part One

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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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Murray Newman wants Devon Anderson to re-try the killer of Officer Charles R. Clark!

Murray stated it was Mike Anderson’s intent to give Officer Charles R. Clark’s killer a new trial. Wow, I guess we can’t ask him if that is true but one thing is for sure, Devon Anderson promised to prosecute all cop killers personally to honor her husband’s campaign promise. Now, there will not be a videotape this time, like in the Harlem Lewis trial, but Murray will tell you Devon Anderson is the greatest prosecutor of all time. What would Devon tell the Clark family if she did not personally prosecute the case – they are not worthy of her efforts? Devon is not about to let the law enforcement community down. Alfred Dewayne Brown and the Clark family need justice.

Of course, I will be discussing Murray’s comments concerning grand juries at length.

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