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Posts Tagged ‘District Attorney’

Video fraudsters to go to trial

All righty then. David Robert Daleiden, 27, and his colleague, Sandra Susan Merritt, 63, both of California, have rejected a plea deal that would have effectively put an end to the criminal charges against them, their lawyers confirmed Friday. “I don’t advise my clients to accept responsibility for cases that they haven’t done anything wrong […]

Harris County takes a step towards jail reform

Good. Harris County commissioners voted Tuesday to back a sweeping plan to reform the criminal justice system, a week after the Harris County Jail began shipping inmates to other counties to avoid reaching capacity. Commissioners voted to accept a $2 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation and to allocate more than $3.3 million from general-fund […]

Rangers investigating Rep. Dawnna Dukes

Busy days for them. The Texas Rangers have joined a Travis County District Attorney office criminal probe into state Rep. Dawnna Dukes’ use of staff, the Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed. “At the request of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Rangers are assisting in an investigation into alleged criminal misconduct of […]

Weekend scandal news roundup

If anything comes from the Texas Rangers investigation into his questionable expenditures, Ag Commissioner Sid Miller would be prosecuted in Travis County. If embattled Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is prosecuted for misusing government funds, his trial would be in Travis County, officials said Friday, despite a new law that sends some corruption cases against […]

It’s a conspiracy!

Oh, noes! Planned Parenthood is in cahoots with the Harris County DA! Run for your lives! The anti-abortion activist accused of falsifying records to secretly videotape Planned Parenthood officials in Houston is accusing the Harris County district attorney’s office of illegally colluding with the nonprofit. The allegations were raised in court documents filed Thursday seeking […]

Criminal complaint filed over Uptown land acquisition

All righty then. A consultant who represents property owners in the Galleria area has filed a criminal complaint with the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, alleging the Uptown Development Authority and related entities broke state open meetings and disclosure laws in relation to acquiring property for a dedicated bus lane project. The complaint, filed last […]

Case against Rick Perry officially dismissed

So there you have it. The criminal case against former Gov. Rick Perry was officially dismissed on Wednesday, weeks after Texas’ highest criminal court ordered that it be dropped. Judge Bert Richardson, who presided over the case in Travis County and now serves on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, signed an order dismissing the […]

Black Lives Matter takes an interest in the Harris County DA race

This will be worth watching. Inspired by voters in Chicago and Cleveland who booted top prosecutors last week with candidates who pledged more accountability in police shootings, Houston-area Black Lives Matter activists have started a #ByeDevon social media campaign to try to oust Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. #ByeDevon, which appears to have debuted […]

It’s not easy going green

And by “going green” I mean legalizing pot, at least in Texas. Advocacy groups and lawmakers say marijuana policy reform in Texas could be the fiscally responsible thing to do in light of the state’s decreasing oil and gas revenues. Texas legislators should look to marijuana policy reform to save, and even make, money in […]

2016 primaries: Harris County

Though this will be the first entry published in the morning, it was the last one I wrote last night, and I’m super tired. So, I’m going to make this brief. Harris County Dem results – Harris County GOP results Democratic races of interest, with about 86% of precincts reporting District Attorney: Kim Ogg with […]

The effect of the law that was supposed to cripple the Public Integrity Unit

Never tempt the weauxf gods. Or the Senate Republicans. Nearly a year after Texas Republicans cheered the passage of a law to strip the Travis County Public Integrity Unit’s power to investigate elected officials and state employees, the unit’s director says little actually has changed. Though the law took away the unit’s authority to prosecute […]

Endorsement watch: Opting for Ogg

The Chron makes their choice in the Democratic primary for District Attorney. Democratic voters face a choice between two strong candidates for Harris County district attorney. But while Morris Overstreet can look back and reflect on a distinguished career, Kim Ogg is the candidate in this primary who most clearly articulates specific recommendations for the […]

More questions about body cameras and video accessibility

Still sorting it all out. Months after statewide body camera legislation took effect and the Houston Police Department outlined its policies regarding the devices, local criminal justice watchdogs worry that some video from high-profile incidents may never see the light of day. At issue, they say, are provisions in the law that could stymie requests […]

Video fraudsters offered probation

First the one, on Wednesday. A California woman charged last week for her role in the production of undercover videos at a Houston Planned Parenthood clinic will be offered probation, a Harris County prosecutor said in court. Sandra Susan Merritt, of San Jose, Calif., appeared in court Wednesday morning on charges of tampering with a […]

How the tables got turned on the video fraudsters

A must read. Planned Parenthood’s legal strategy was in some ways similar to how corporations facing major white-collar criminal investigations often cooperate closely with prosecutors to try to influence the outcome. From the start, Planned Parenthood and its Houston lawyer Josh Schaffer settled on a strategy of cooperating with investigators, said Rochelle Tafolla, a spokeswoman […]

Every investigation on Planned Parenthood has cleared them

From Think Progress: After a months-long investigation, a Texas grand jury decided not to indict Planned Parenthood on Monday — providing more confirmation that there’s no solid evidence to support the accusations against the national women’s health organization. This trend goes far beyond Texas. Across the country, GOP-led investigations into Planned Parenthood’s activities haven’t turned […]

Grand jury indicts Planned Parenthood video fraudsters

Sweet. A Harris County grand jury investigating allegations that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Houston illegally sold the tissue of aborted fetuses has cleared the organization of wrongdoing and instead indicted two anti-abortion activists behind the undercover videos that sparked the probe. Secret videographers David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt were both indicted on charges of […]

County finally takes jail overcrowding seriously

We’ll see what this actually becomes. Chasing $4 million in grant money, Harris County officials on Thursday announced reforms in the criminal justice system to unclog dockets, lower jail population and address racial and ethnic disparities. And because the changes are so important, they said, they will do it even if they don’t get the […]

Interview with Kim Ogg

As I said before, there are two strong candidates who merit consideration for your vote for the Democratic nomination for District Attorney. Kim Ogg was our nominee for DA in 2014, having vanquished the annoying perennial candidate that is cluttering the ballot this year as well in that primary, and though she fell short she […]

Interview with Morris Overstreet

And just like that, we’re on to the 2016 primary elections. I know it feels like we’ve just barely finished with 2015 – the filing deadline for the 2016 primaries was two days after the 2015 runoff. Believe me, I know it feels like there was no break between the two. But that’s not for […]

2016 Election page is up

Here it is. A few notes: – This is for races that will appear on the Harris County ballot only. Our ballot is big enough, with enough contested primary races, that I didn’t have the time or the energy to do anything more ambitious. It’s great that there is such interest in running for office […]

John Bradley does John Bradley things

From Grits for Breakfast: Former Williamson County District Attorney and Texas Forensic Science Commission Chairman John Bradley – who left Texas to become Attorney General of the island nation of Palau after facing national disapprobation, losing reelection, and struggling to find work in Texas as a prosecutor – has been suspended “for ten working days […]

Republican filing deadline highlights

As a followup to this, here’s a look at who filed for what in the Republican primary here in Harris County. Set your phasers to “snark” and come on in with me. Congress There are nine Congressional districts partially or wholly within Harris County. Republicans have incumbents in six of them, and they are running […]

Would you like to sit in armed or unarmed?

From Houstonia: Imagine it’s a Saturday afternoon. You stop into Whataburger to pick up lunch with your kids in tow, the only thing on your mind remembering which kid doesn’t want ketchup on his burger, which kid only wants ketchup on his burger, and whether you want to add jalapenõs to your own. You place […]

Anderson updates pot prosecution policy

Good. Small amounts of marijuana now mean a citation, not a ride to jail, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Thursday. The county’s top prosecutor outlined changes to a pilot plan for low-level offenders she implemented last year, one that she called a “huge cultural change for Harris County.” Instead of arresting first offenders […]

Morris Overstreet to run for DA

I know we’re all still recovering from Tuesday, but the 2016 filing season is almost upon us, and the Democratic race for Harris County DA just became a contested race. Former appeals court judge Morris Overstreet announced Thursday that he would seek the Democratic nomination for Harris County District Attorney. Overstreet, a former judge on […]

Another view of the Temple case

The Press devotes a cover story to the David Temple case and the allegations that then-Assistant DA Kelly Siegler withheld evidence from the defense. In July 2015, visiting Judge Larry Gist issued his damning decree: 36 findings of prosecutorial misconduct in which Siegler either suppressed evidence or disclosed it too late, depriving Temple of a […]

Perry appeal briefs

The latest update on the appeals before the CCA in the Rick Perry matter. The 3rd Court of Appeals this summer tossed one of two counts against Perry, saying the coercion law underlying it violates the First Amendment. The 3rd Court agreed with Judge Bert Richardson, however, that Perry must face the charge of abuse […]

What is coercion, anyway?

It could be the defining legacy of Rick Perry’s career, depending on how things go in the courts. The coercion law has been used only sparingly in Texas, according to records for the past five years, and some legal experts call it problematic. Others, however, say its absence will be felt if the Texas Court […]

Ogg announces for DA

Rematch time. Kim Ogg, the Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for district attorney last year, launched her second bid for the office Friday, promising to pursue violent criminals, de-emphasize misdemeanor marijuana possession cases and aggressively combat prosecutorial misconduct. Ogg took a series of jabs at how the incumbent Republican, Devon Anderson, has chosen to prioritize some […]

DA’s office responds to Temple case allegations

Their view differs, to say the least. Three months after a judge ruled that a Katy man convicted of murdering his wife did not get a fair trial and excoriated the prosecutor who handled the case, saying she withheld evidence, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office filed objections to the decision, tackling it point-by-point, and […]

Perry appeals his other indictment

More for the CCA to deal with. Lawyers for former Gov. Rick Perry are urging the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to finish off the remaining charge in his indictment, ratcheting up their push to end the case against the presidential candidate. The request comes a few weeks after a state appeals court dismissed one […]

Harris County DA to investigate Planned Parenthood clinic here

I haven’t spent any time writing about the misleading attack videos on Planned Parenthood being put out by yet another shadowy anti-abortion group, so let me dispense with this. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said Wednesday her office has begun a criminal investigation into the Houston branch of Planned Parenthood after the release earlier […]

Paxton girding for indictment

So are we, Kenny. So are we. A Collin County grand jury is expected to weigh evidence brought by two temporary district attorneys assigned to the case. Paxton’s advisers are furiously preparing for a criminal indictment. The looming showdown has the camps bickering. Anthony Holm, a spokesman for Paxton, contends the AG should not face […]