Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts Tagged ‘District Attorney’

Chron overview of the DA race

It’s the most interesting local race on the ballot. Two years ago, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson bested Democratic challenger Kim Ogg in a tussle focusing on substantive policy reform. Both touting impressive criminal justice resumes and spoke optimistically about improving the community by making changes at the state’s largest district attorney’s office. This […]

John Bradley to leave Palau

He’s coming home. Former Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley is resigning from his job as attorney general in the Republic of Palau. Bradley sent a letter to the president of Palau on Sept. 13 announcing his plans to quit his job Nov. 30 due to family reasons. […] The president of Palau, Tommy Remengesau, […]

UH Hobby School (Harris County only): Clinton 43, Trump 34

I have many thoughts about this. Between September 1 and September 20, 2016, the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs conducted a telephone survey of 550 Harris County registered voters as part of a larger Hobby School study on voter participation and engagement under the direction of Mark P. Jones, Renée Cross, and […]

More on the Precinct 4 evidence destruction scandal

Lots of cases have been compromised. District Attorney Devon Anderson’s office first learned in April that the mistaken destruction of evidence in Harris County’s Precinct 4 had likely compromised more than a thousand criminal cases, including more than 400 in which defendants had already been convicted, records released Tuesday show. Anderson immediately launched a criminal […]

Miller avoids charges for his questionable trips

Can’t catch ’em all. Travis County prosecutors will not press criminal charges against Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller for tapping taxpayer funds for two trips that involved personal activities — including an appearance in a Mississippi rodeo and the receipt of a medical injection in Oklahoma called the “Jesus Shot.” “We have decided to close […]

The Precinct 4 evidence destruction debacle

What the heck is going on here? The Harris County Precinct 4 deputy who was fired after destroying evidence in hundreds of pending criminal cases this year has been wrongfully tossing evidence without following department protocol since 2007, Constable Mark Herman announced Tuesday. Herman’s announcement comes just after Houston defense attorney Paul Morgan wrote a […]

Reducing pot prosecutions one county at a time

Some Texas cities are taking direct action to dial back the drug wars and reduce their jail population. As lawmakers have wrestled in recent years with easing restrictions on marijuana use – an issue they likely will confront again when they convene in January – prosecutors in the state’s most populated areas are relaxing their […]

Susan Hawk resigns as Dallas County DA

Thus endeth her short but incredibly tumultuous time in office. After struggling with mental illness, including three admissions at psychiatric treatment centers, Republican Susan Hawk stepped down from her position as Dallas County District Attorney on Tuesday. “It is with a heavy heart that I must tender my resignation as Dallas County District Attorney,” Hawk […]

Endorsement watch: Time for a change

The Chron gives a ringing endorsement to Kim Ogg for District Attorney, but not before delivering a stern rebuke to incumbent DA Devon Anderson. Harris County cannot take four more years of a prosecutor’s office that pursues convictions at any cost. It is a mentality that risks putting the innocent behind bars while the real […]

Three updates on county-related lawsuits

Update #1: Judges sued as part of Harris County federal court bail challenge. Attorneys challenging the constitutionality of Harris County’s pretrial bail policies have added all 16 of Harris County’s misdemeanor court judges as defendants in a federal civil rights lawsuit this week after mediation aimed at settling the dispute broke down after only two […]

What’s that definition of insanity again?

How many times are we going to find ourselves in this same situation before we finally accept that we need to do something different? The Harris County Sheriff’s Office has cut funding for law enforcement operations to cover exploding overtime costs at the department’s understaffed jail, a move critics say could harm public safety while […]

Rangers hand off Miller case to Travis County DA

Here we go. The Travis County District Attorney’s Office has begun reviewing the findings of a criminal investigation into Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s travel, a top prosecutor said Friday. “We received the investigation (from the Texas Department of Public Safety) earlier this week,” said the prosecutor, Gregg Cox, the head of Travis County’s Public […]

Legislation to ban the jailing of rape victims proposed

Hard to argue with, I must say. The controversial jailing of a rape victim to ensure her testimony could lead to a new state law protecting victims’ rights to an appointed attorney. State Sen. Joan Huffman is joining with Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson and Sheriff Ron Hickman to push for new legislation to […]

Jailed rape victim’s lawyer calls for special prosecutor

To investigate the actions of the DA’s office that led to her incarceration. Prosecutors broke the law when they jailed a rape victim in order to secure her testimony against her attacker, the woman’s attorney claimed Monday in a letter to Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson. Attorney Sean Buckley said he believes prosecutors illegally […]

More on the jailed rape victim

The Chron pens a harsh editorial. Although a spokesman for the district attorney’s office has admitted this miscarriage of justice should never have happened, Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson defends the prosecutor involved in the case. She says the prosecutor tried to find a suitable place for the sexual assault survivor to stay after […]

July finance reports for county candidates

Most of the interesting race in Harris County this year are the countywide races. Here’s a look at how the candidates in these races have been doing at fundraising. District Attorney Friends of Devon Anderson PAC Kim Ogg Name Raised Spent Loans On Hand ================================================ Anderson 253,670 55,392 0 368,907 Ogg 143,311 34,417 69,669 108,872 […]

Harris County DA drops charges against video fraudsters

Disappointing, to say the least. Criminal charges against the anti-abortion activists behind undercover recordings of a Houston Planned Parenthood facility were dismissed Tuesday. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the videographers who infiltrated Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, had been charged with tampering with a governmental record, a second-degree felony charge that carries up to 20 years […]

Falkenberg talks to DA Anderson about jailed rape victim

Worth reading, as you would expect. I’m going to quote from the conclusion: [Assistant DA Nick] Socias appeared to have diligently tried to help, but he seemed to be trying alone. Anderson’s office said she wasn’t informed about the situation until near the end of trial. She should have been involved from the start. The […]

Roadside drug tests

Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. A Houston police officer pulled Barry Demings over as he headed to work in Beaumont and plucked a spot of white powder off the floorboard of Demings’ year-old Ford Explorer. Demings had just detailed the SUV – and wondered later if a speck of soap upended his life. […]

Why would you even think to put a rape victim in jail?

I am outraged. The 25-year-old rape victim, frightened and long-suffering from mental illness, agreed in December to testify against the Houston man who brutally assaulted her in 2013. She hoped to put him behind bars for life. But that decision landed her in the Harris County jail for more than a month over the Christmas […]

We’re outsourcing inmates again

We never learn. Harris County, in the latest move to keep its swelling jail population in check, is pursuing an agreement with neighboring Fort Bend County to send inmates to the suburb’s jail. A Harris County Sheriff’s Office spokesman called the measure precautionary. If it is approved by commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, it’s not […]

Lone Star Project requests investigation of severance packages

From the inbox: Today, Lone Star Project Director Matt Angle sent letters to the Texas Rangers, the State Auditor and the Travis County District Attorney requesting formal investigations into a series of questionable payments made by Attorney General Ken Paxton, State Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, State Land Commissioner George P. Bush and other state officials. […]

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 […]