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Posts Tagged ‘District Attorney’

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 […]

Interview index

For your convenience, here is a list of all my interviews and judicial Q&As for the November election. This includes ones I did for the primary and runoff. Interviews US Senate – David Alameel Attorney General – Sam Houston Comptroller – Mike Collier Land Commissioner – John Cook Railroad Commissioner – Steve Brown State Senate, […]

KHOU: Abbott 47, Davis 32

A new poll to open Early Voting. As early voters head to the polls for a landmark election in Texas, a new survey conducted for KHOU-TV and Houston Public Media shows Republican Greg Abbott with a commanding lead over Democrat Wendy Davis in the race for governor. Abbott’s supported by 47 percent of likely voters […]

DA race developments

Couple of stories of interest relating to the District Attorney’s race. First, DA Devon Anderson announced the creation of a special court to handle prostitution cases. A new program Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced on Thursday targets prostitutes, offering some arrested the opportunity to get out of the world’s oldest profession. Surrounded by […]

Perry’s lawyers are earning their paychecks

You never know what might stick when you throw everything you’ve got at the wall. Lawyers for Gov. Rick Perry on Friday filed a request to dismiss the indictment against the governor, saying paperwork needed to properly swear in the prosecutor appointed to shepherd the case was not properly filled out or filed. “Insofar as […]

Anderson proposes her own pot prosecution reform plan

It’s a trend. A move to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana emerged Wednesday as a major issue in the contentious race for Harris County District attorney with both candidates claiming ownership of the idea. At a news conference, Republican Devon Anderson, the incumbent, said that beginning Monday, non-violent first offenders carrying less […]

Perry doesn’t have to show up at his court hearing

He’s excused this time. But don’t push it. Gov. Rick Perry does not have to appear at an Oct. 13 court hearing in his case, but that does not mean he has a pass to skip all future hearings, Visiting Judge Bert Richardson ruled on Friday, according to the special prosecutor in the case. This […]

Endorsement watch: Ogg for DA

The Chronicle endorses a change in thew Harris County DA’s office. Houston has changed since the hang ‘em high days of Holmes’ tenure. Our region has grown more diverse, our mentality more mature. While some may look back with nostalgia, for many people – minority communities, taxpayer watchdogs, the wrongly convicted – the old days […]

McCrum asks for help

Because many against one is not a fair fight. The special prosecutor in the case against Gov. Rick Perry is asking for some help. San Antonio lawyer Michael McCrum, who guided the case to last month’s indictment, filed a motion Friday asking a state court to fund a co-counsel. “Mr. Perry has filed several pleadings […]

Perry’s lawyers ask again for indictments to be tossed

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Attorneys for Gov. Rick Perry, indicted last month on charges related to his veto threat of money for the Travis County District Attorney’s office, have filed another request for a judge to throw out the case. The motion to dismiss the indictment filed Monday makes many of […]

Complaint filed against Whitmire

I think this is more a political stunt than anything else, but we’ll see. A conservative group has filed a criminal complaint against state Sen. John Whitmire, accusing him of coercion in an exchange of text messages with University of Houston President Renu Khator that was published in the Houston Chronicle. In the Aug. 16 […]

Interview with Kim Ogg

It’s time to start the interview series for the fall elections. As you know, I did interviews with various Democratic primary candidates earlier this year. As a rule, I’m not going to re-interview candidates that made it to the fall ballot, since in most cases there isn’t much ground to cover that wasn’t already discussed. […]