Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘District Attorney’

The Rick Perry grand jury convenes

Game on. A grand jury was sworn in Monday to look into whether Gov. Rick Perry acted improperly last year when he threatened to kill funding for the Travis County district attorney’s public corruption division unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after her drunken driving conviction. The office of the governor – who carried through […]

Perry lawyers up

It’s getting real. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has hired a high-profile Austin defense lawyer to represent him in an investigation into whether he illegally withheld money from the Travis County District Attorney’s office. KVUE News and the Austin American-Statesman confirmed Sunday evening the hiring of David L. Botsford. The hiring comes as a special Travis […]

HPD’s good, bad, and ugly

The good news is that the testing of backlogged rape kits has led to the identification of a serial rapist in Houston. Houston police on Tuesday for the first time identified a criminal suspect – a possible serial rapist – from testing of sexual assault kits that once gathered dust in the police property room. […]

Perry special prosecutor is “concerned”

As are we all. A special prosecutor investigating whether Gov. Rick Perry abused his authority when he eliminated state funding of the Texas public integrity unit — which investigates government corruption and is housed in the Travis County district attorney’s office — said what he’s found so far is “concerning.” “I cannot elaborate on what […]

Still more from the Pratt files

What a mess. Embattled family court judge Denise Pratt, under investigation again this year by the Harris County District Attorney’s office, was removed from five more cases on Thursday by a visiting senior judge who criticized the freshman jurist’s recent decision to make a final ruling in a child custody case without hearing any testimony […]

Primary results: Harris County

The big news here is that there were no surprises on the Democratic side, in particular no unpleasant surprises. By far the best news was that Kim Ogg easily bested Lloyd Oliver in the primary for DA, with over 70% of the vote. I doubt we’ve seen the last of this particular plague on our […]

DA investigating Judge Pratt again

Here we go again. Two months after a grand jury cleared embattled state District Judge Denise Pratt of accusations she had tampered with court records, the Harris County District Attorney’s office again is looking into the family court jurist. Houston lawyer Anna Stool, a former federal prosecutor, said she was called in by the district […]

All about Lloyd

Emily dePrang talks to Lloyd Oliver about his candidacy for District Attorney and confirms what we already knew about him. Oliver admits he runs for office to drum up business for his law practice. He credits his 2012 win to name recognition and “dumb luck,” though some political observers thought it may have been because […]

Endorsement watch: Kim Ogg for DA

The Chronicle gives a ringing endorsement to Kim Ogg in the Democratic primary for District Attorney. Ogg has experience as a board-certified felony prosecutor, but she also has the broad view that comes from serving as director of Houston’s first anti-gang task force. After overseeing a 40 percent drop in gang violence, Ogg went to […]

Pay no attention to Mark Jones

This is a really bad idea. At least for the time being, the Republican primary is the decisive election for the governance of Texas. In contrast, the most pressing issue facing Houston-area Democratic primary voters will be whether they prefer safe mainstream candidates or provocative and potentially damaging outsiders as the party’s long-shot nominees for […]

Chron overview of DA primary

I can’t stress enough how much this race matters. Running for the Democratic nomination for Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg has spent the past four months shaking hands, staking out her positions on criminal justice issues and raising about $100,000. Her opponent, perennial candidate Lloyd Oliver, has been watching television. “It’s my race to […]

January campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates

In our previous episode, we looked at the campaign finance reports for Democratic statewide candidates. Today, let’s have a look at the reports for candidates for countywide office in Harris County. I’m not going to get down to the Constable or JP level – I’m not aware of any interesting primaries, those districts tend not […]

On pot and prosecutions

I’m sure you’ve heard about President Obama’s remarks that marijuana isn’t really more harmful than alcohol. There’s plenty of evidence to back that assertion, but Harris County DA Devon Anderson strongly disagreed with him anyway. President Barack Obama’s recently published remarks calling marijuana less dangerous than alcohol has prompted Harris County’s District Attorney to release […]

Another complaint filed against Judge Pratt

Pretty much needed to be one. Embattled family court Judge Denise Pratt is the subject of another criminal complaint by Webster family lawyer Greg Enos, accusing her of breaking the law by signing orders saying she had given prior notice to lawyers before dismissing hundreds of cases last month. Judges are required under rules of […]

Interview with Kim Ogg

Let’s talk about the Harris County District Attorney’s race for a minute, shall we? We all remember what happened in 2012, when perennial candidate/yahoo Lloyd Oliver won the Democratic primary for DA because he had some name ID for having run for things before and because presumed candidate Zack Fertitta did not adequately connect with […]

Consequences are for suckers

They’re not for former judge Elizabeth Coker, thank you very much. State District Judge Elizabeth E. Coker, who presided over Trinity, Polk and San Jacinto counties before resigning Dec. 6 under fire in a texting controversy, filed Monday to run for Polk County district attorney next year. Coker will be challenging the incumbent prosecutor, Lee […]

Judge Pratt update

The most embattled Family Court judge in Harris County is still on the ballot, in case you were wondering. Embattled state District Court Judge Denise Pratt, accused of falsifying court records to cover up tardy rulings, intends to remain on the ballot to face the voters, her lawyer says. In late October, the Harris County […]

Lehmberg beats the rap

Good for her. District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg will remain in her position as the top felony prosecutor in Travis County, visiting Judge David Peeples ruled Wednesday. Lehmberg hugged her supporters in the courtroom after the decision was read, shedding tears. In closing arguments, Jim Collins, an assistant county attorney prosecuting the case, argued that keeping […]

Lehmberg civil trial this week

I’d almost forgotten about this. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg heads to court this week as a defendant in a civil trial that could result in her ouster from office. The trial, set to start Monday in Austin before a visiting judge from San Antonio, stems from Lehmberg’s drunken driving arrest in April. She […]

He’s baaaack

I was at HCDP headquarters on Monday night, participating in a panel discussion hosted by the Texas Democratic Women of Harris County along with my friends Perry and Neil. On the back wall of the main room is a big listing of all offices that will be on the ballot this year and the signatures […]

Bradford calls for review of HPD oversight

He’s right that something needs to be done to ensure that people feel confident in the system. Houston City Councilman and former Police Chief C.O. “Brad” Bradford said citizens have lost faith in the city’s oversight of the use of force by police officers, and it’s time for a discussion on how to restore confidence […]

We need a Conviction Integrity Unit in Harris County

From the DMN: Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has gained a national reputation for spearheading prisoner exonerations. As he prepares to seek a third term, Watkins said Thursday he wants to expand on that role and add a few others. … Watkins, a Democrat who was first elected in 2006, gained attention for using […]

Kim Ogg officially files for DA

This is the marquee matchup in Harris County in November, at least so far. Kim Ogg, the only Democratic yet to announce a bid for Harris County district attorney, said Monday that most voters do not identify with a particular party when it comes to criminal justice races. “I think the race for Harris County’s […]

From the “Judges Behaving Badly” files

We’ll start with now-former Judge Elizabeth Coker: An East Texas state district judge who had been accused of sending text messages to coach a prosecutor during a trial, being biased against some attorneys and improperly meeting with jurors has resigned as part of an agreement with a state judicial commission. Elizabeth E. Coker did not […]

The party-switchers of Bexar County

Nice. A Bexar County judge elected during the “red tide” of 2010 is switching parties. Standing at the foot of the Bexar County Courthouse steps, County Court-at-Law No. 11 Judge Carlo Key said Monday he is joining the Democratic Party and will seek reelection as a Democrat in November 2014. “Make no mistake, I did […]

Moving the focus back to un-crowding the jails

This is a positive development. Newly appointed Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson on Wednesday pledged to curb the increasing number of low-level felons being sentenced to serve misdemeanor time in the county jail rather than going to prison, known as a “12.44a” sentence, saying she will encourage her prosecutors to push rehabilitation. There has […]

Perry special prosecutor seeks to hire investigator

Moving right along. The special prosecutor in an ongoing investigation into whether Gov. Rick Perry violated state law by vetoing funding for the Travis County ethics-enforcement unit is seeking to hire an investigator and researcher, the first public hint the probe is moving forward past its initial stage. In a request filed Tuesday in Travis […]

Whitmire weighs in on Harris jail population

State Sen. John Whitmire has pushed back on some of the explanations given for the recent uptick in the Harris County jail population, beginning with the claim that it’s due to state jails taking longer than usual to pick up new inmates. Noting the state prison system has “7,000 empty beds today,” Whitmire said that […]

More on Kim Ogg

Here’s the full Chron story about Kim Ogg’s declaration that she will run for Harris County DA as a Democrat in 2014. “I have the varied experience in policy, in prevention and in prosecution that I think gives me a broad overview of the system,” Ogg told reporters on the steps of the historic 1910 […]

Kim Ogg to run for DA

That didn’t take long. Kim Ogg, a former prosecutor, anti-gang investigator and crime prevention leader, told supporters Saturday that she will run for Harris County district attorney. In an email, Ogg said she would announce Monday that she would run in the Democratic primary in the spring. Voters will choose a district attorney in November […]

Devon Anderson named interim DA

We’d been waiting for an announcement about this. Devon Anderson, the widow of recently deceased Harris County District Attorney Mike Anderson, was appointed Tuesday to serve out her late husband’s unexpired term. Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday that Anderson, of Bellaire, would take the place of her husband, who died of cancer Aug. 31. The […]

Hall’s five point crimefighting plan

From the inbox: Houstonians do not feel safe in their homes and their communities. Houston’s crime numbers remain dangerously high and criminals are victimizing us daily. The only thing we hear from the Mayor’s office on this issue is silence. It is unacceptable. “As Mayor, I will make sure that criminals know this City belongs […]

Grand jury convening in Perry/Lehmberg veto threat case

Can’t wait to see how this turns out. A visiting state district judge began convening a special grand jury Wednesday to consider two possible criminal cases stemming from the April drunken driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. The 12-member panel with two alternates, which may be seated as early as Friday, will […]

More tributes for Mike Anderson

Here’s the full Chron story on the death of Harris County DA Mike Anderson. “We all have suffered a terrible loss today of a devoted public servant, husband and father,” first assistant Belinda Hill said in a statement from the office. “His sense of justice, his wisdom and support, his easy laugh, and, most of […]