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Posts Tagged ‘District Attorney’

Stickland not out of the woods

Despite what he says. A state investigation into allegations that state Rep. Jonathan Stickland improperly registered witnesses to testify on a bill banning red light cameras has cleared Stickland of wrongdoing, his office announced Monday. But two officials involved in the investigation disagreed with the Bedford Republican’s declaration Monday evening. “I can confirm that we […]

Rangers to investigate Stickland

It’s starting to get real. The Texas Rangers will investigate allegations that witnesses were improperly registered to testify last week on a bill banning red light cameras at a House Transportation Committee hearing. The House General Investigating and Ethics Committee voted Thursday evening to refer the investigation to the Rangers, a division of the Texas […]

As Jonathan Stickland turns

Cue dramatic organ music. The chairman of the House Committee on General Investigating and Ethics said Friday he plans to investigate allegations that witnesses were signed up improperly to speak at a transportation committee meeting from which state Rep. Jonathan Stickland was escorted out. “There will be an investigation into allegations of broken rules,” said […]

Prosecutors respond to latest Team Perry filings

Back and forth, forth and back. The special prosecutor in the case against Rick Perry is asking a judge to deny the former governor’s latest two efforts to quash the indictment against him. Perry, meanwhile, is once again showcasing a high-profile group of legal scholars who think the case against him should be dismissed. The […]

House approves bill to move Public Integrity Unit

Like it or not, looks like this is going to get done. The Texas House gave initial approval Monday to a stripped-down bill that would remove public corruption cases from Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit. Final House approval is expected Tuesday. House Bill 1690, initially approved 94-51, was amended on the House floor to apply […]

Collin County grand jury interested in Paxton case

Very interesting. A Collin County grand jury has asked the Travis County District Attorney’s office for its investigative file on Ken Paxton, indicating the panel wants to look into the attorney general’s admitted violations of state securities law. “Collin County appears to be the venue where this evidence needs to be heard,” says the letter […]

Perry appeals to appeals court again

It had been a few weeks since his lawyers filed any paperwork, so I guess they were getting twitchy. As the race for president shapes up, former Gov. Rick Perry is imploring a state appeals court to take quick action in the criminal case against him. In his latest court filing, Perry said a decision […]

Bill to kneecap Public Integrity Unit gets unstuck

And away it goes. Senate Bill 10, filed by Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, passed on second reading along party lines. The integrity unit is currently a state-funded division of the Travis County DA’s office that investigates public corruption, insurance fraud and tax fraud. Some Republicans have said the unit has had partisan motives for its […]

TPJ refiles complaint against Paxton

We’ll see if they have any better luck this time. Texans for Public Justice on Monday re-filed its criminal complaint against Attorney General Ken Paxton with local prosecutors in Dallas and Collin Counties, arguing the latter should recuse himself because of conflict of interest concerns. “Mr. Paxton’s conduct demands a thorough and independent investigation,” Craig […]

TPJ still wants Paxton investigated

At the very least, they don’t want the matter dropped due to blithe indifference. The head of a public watchdog group said he again will urge law enforcement to launch a probe into Attorney General Ken Paxton’s admitted violation of state security laws after learning that the Collin County District Attorney’s Office, headed by a […]

Bill to kneecap Public Integrity Unit stuck in the Senate

For now, at least. A Republican bill to transfer the Public Integrity Unit out of Travis County has snagged in the Senate, where the legislation does not have enough support to force a floor vote — at least for now. The author of Senate Bill 10, Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, acknowledged Monday that she is […]

Bill to neuter Public Integrity Unit advances

Still a bad idea. A measure that would take the state’s public corruption-fighting unit out of the hands of the Travis County district attorney’s office and place it in the Texas attorney general’s office was approved Monday by the Senate State Affairs Committee. The 7-2 vote in favor of Senate Bill 10, authored by state […]

Republicans try again to kill Public Integrity Unit

They might have the votes this time, though as with some other highly publicized “replacement” efforts, their substitute idea lacks a few key elements to make it successful. Under Senate Bill 10 by Sen. Joan Huffman, the attorney general’s office would conduct the initial investigation of complaints against officials, with help from the Texas Rangers. […]

Perry goes to appeals court with latest motion to dismiss

Leave no stone unturned, and no hour unbilled. Rick Perry’s lawyers have asked a state appeals court to dismiss the indictment against the former governor, saying he lawfully used his power to veto funds to the Travis County district attorney’s office and his right to do so is protected by free speech. “On its face, […]

All backlogged rape kits have been tested

Great news. Houston officials have completed the lab testing and review of a three-decade backlog of rape kits, yielding 850 matches in the national DNA database. On Monday, Mayor Annise Parker, District Attorney Devon Anderson and police department and crime lab officials trumpeted the newly complete testing of the 6,600 kits as a major milestone. […]

Perry’s lawyers try, try again

The circle of life keeps on keeping on. Lawyers for Rick Perry asked the court on Monday to again end the prosecution of the former governor, saying the indictment is faulty and the actions he took in issuing a veto are allowed by law. […] On Monday, Perry’s team attacked amendments that McCrum had added […]

McCrum refiles charges against Perry

Here we go again. Former Gov. Rick Perry tried to force out a local district attorney because he wanted to stymie the work of a unit she oversees that investigates public corruption involving state officials, a special prosecutor alleged Friday. The contention is at odds with Perry’s long-held assertion that he vetoed the funding for […]

Reforming the grand jury system

Harris County DA Devon Anderson comes out in favor of changing how grand juries are selected. I have been the Harris County district attorney for 17 months now. In that time, one of the most frequently recurring issues I have been asked to address has been the selection of grand jurors by jury commissioners. Until […]

No grand juror information for Perry

Sorry, Rick. A state judge Friday denied former Gov. Rick Perry’s push for a list of people whose grand-jury testimony led to his indictment on abuse-of-power charges. Judge Bert Richardson said the prosecution is not required to produce those names, which Perry’s lawyers had said he was entitled to get. […] Besides denying Perry’s motion […]

Now what do we do with those body cameras?

KPRC addresses an important question. HPD has been running a pilot program regarding body cameras for more than a year. 100 officers are currently wearing a body camera. The department has yet to finalize a policy on the use of these cameras and the retention of video. As it stands now, each officer is responsible […]

Perry re-files motions to quash indictments

As expected. Following the cues provided in a judge’s ruling this week, lawyers for Rick Perry filed a request on Friday to get an indictment against the former governor dismissed. The new request noted “serious, well-founded concerns” that Judge Bert Richardson had in his ruling on Tuesday regarding the wording of the two charges against […]

Paxton evades prosecution

In Travis County, anyway. New Attorney General Ken Paxton, who in 2014 was found to have violated the Texas Securities Act, will not be prosecuted by the state’s office that investigates public corruption, officials said Thursday. Paxton, a former state senator from McKinney, violated the Securities Act by soliciting investment clients without being registered, as […]

Perry still under indictment

Oops. A judge on Tuesday rejected former Gov. Rick Perry’s attempt to throw out a two-count indictment against him, saying it’s too early in the case to challenge the constitutionality of the charges. Perry’s attorneys immediately filed notice that they will appeal the 21-page ruling, which was issued Tuesday afternoon by Bert Richardson, a Republican; […]

Expect to hear more about Perry vetos and no-bid contracts

Bring it on. Democratic lawmakers and government watchdog groups on Saturday called for the reopening of an investigation into no-bid state contracts that ended in 2013 after Gov. Rick Perry vetoed funding for the team conducting it. The critics decried the millions of dollars in Department of Public Safety contracts and another set of similar […]

The veto that keeps on giving

I haven’t closely followed the burgeoning scandal at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which involves no-bid contracts, up front tuition reimbursements for top level staffers, and rampant cronyism. It’s already cost three people their jobs and will likely eventually result in the HHSC Commissioner, Kyle Janek, either falling on his sword or getting […]

On playing small ball

Campos reacts to Mayor Parker’s future statewide plans. And here again is my small ball take from a few weeks ago: It is time for small ball instead of the big inning. In baseball, small ball is a strategy where you manufacture runs by utilizing the bunt, stealing bases, the hit and run, walks, hitting […]

DA’s office to help buy body cams

Very good news. Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson plans to purchase hundreds of body-worn cameras for Houston police officers and sheriff’s deputies, weeks after widespread protests erupted when a white Missouri police officer was not charged for fatally shooting an unarmed black teen. In the aftermath of the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Mo., […]

On grand juries

Some folks are trying to change the makeup of grand juries in Harris County. It was a largely black crowd with at least a third of the audience made up of white people and a few anarchists sprinkled in. They were there to share ideas, sign some petitions, and to vent about injustice in the […]

Perry’s first day in court

Hopefully not his last, but that’s up to the judge at this time. Gov. Rick Perry appeared in court Thursday to watch his attorneys, armed with plenty of theater, try to convince a judge that the prosecutor pursuing abuse-of-power charges against him was improperly sworn in. “Why do we raise what some people say are […]

First impressions of the 2014 results

My initial thoughts, for what they are worth. – Let me begin by saying that for all the criticism I had of the UT/Texas Trib’s polling and the skepticism of Internet-sample methodology, they were fairly accurate in the end. In particular, the last YouGov result just about nailed it. I still think what they do […]

McCrum responds to Perry’s motions

Another story to distract us from the election results. Special prosecutor Michael McCrum filed court papers on Monday, saying the governor, who was indicted for abuse of office, shouldn’t have access to grand jury testimony because he could intimidate witnesses. McCrum filed two lengthy briefs in answer to a barrage of pre-trial motions filed by […]

Chron overview of DA race

There’s a simple question at the core of the race for Harris County District Attorney. For two years, in the early 1990s, Kim Ogg and Devon Anderson worked in the same office under legendary Harris County District Attorney Johnny Holmes. Houston at the time was in the throes of a crime spike that sent the […]

Wilvin Carter

As we know, there are interesting races for District Attorney in Harris, Dallas, and Bexar Counties. Turns out there’s one in Fort Bend County, too. As Fort Bend County District Attorney, John Healey has faced competitive elections before. Since a Democrat hasn’t won a countywide election in decades, those races were generally against fellow Republicans […]

HPOU wades into the DA race

They’re all in for incumbent Devon Anderson. The already intense race for Harris County district attorney became more heated Wednesday with the Houston Police Officer’s Union attacking Democratic candidate Kim Ogg, saying that during her time at Crime Stoppers she violated the privacy of victims she was supposed to help support. The 5,300-member group is […]