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Posts Tagged ‘Harris County Attorney’

County appeals Wilson decision

Here we go again. Harris County officials are asking an appeals court to reconsider the question of where Dave Wilson lived when he ran for his seat on the Houston Community College board, The Harris County Attorney’s office is appealing a reluctant ruling by state district Judge Mike Engelhart, who in August upheld a jury […]

“Environmental tort reform”

Oh, hell no. After failing in their attempt to limit cities and counties’ ability to take industrial polluters to court, some Houston businesses and statewide lobbyists now want to limit how much local governments can collect in penalties, a sort of environmental tort reform effort aimed squarely at a Harris County Attorney’s office they say […]

Judge affirms Wilson residency verdict

No surprise. The Harris County Attorney’s office, which has been challenging [Dave] Wilson’s residency for months, asked state District Judge Mike Engelhart to throw out last month’s jury ruling, arguing that Wilson was breaking the law by claiming two residences. Engelhart said Monday that he “unfortunately” had to deny the motion, but he admonished Wilson […]

Game room lawsuit dismissed

From last week: After a lengthy tussle over new game room regulations for Harris County, a federal judge Tuesday issued an order denying requests from a local game room owner to stop the new regulations. “The game room situation in Harris County is a big problem,” said Fred Keys, an assistant attorney for Harris County. […]

County Attorney asks judge to overturn Wilson verdict

I’m not sure what the point of this is. Although a jury decided Dave Wilson lived where he claimed when he ran for the Houston Community College seat he holds, the drama surrounding the perennial candidate continues. Harris County attorneys filed a motion Wednesday asking Judge Mike Engelhart, who oversaw Wilson’s three-day residency trial earlier […]

Harris County settles with HCAD

Not sure about this. Less than two months after formally challenging the way the local appraisal district calculates the value of vacant commercial land, Harris County has backed down. Commissioners Court on Tuesday OK’d the withdrawal of a petition filed in early June by the county attorney challenging the Harris County Appraisal District after the […]

Wilson wins residency fight

That was quick. Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson lives in the residence he claimed and can keep his seat on the college system’s board, a jury decided Thursday. “Thank you,” Wilson shouted when the verdict was announced about 4:30 p.m. Harris County officials filed a lawsuit seeking to remove Wilson from office on grounds […]

Dave Wilson residency lawsuit is underway

Almost missed this. A trial is set to begin Tuesday morning to determine whether Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson actually lived in the district in which he ran last November. Wilson, who ousted former HCC Chairman Bruce Austin in the Nov. 5 election by 26 votes, is being sued by the Harris County attorney. […]

Game room enforcement back on in Harris County

Better choose your eight liner provider carefully. After clearing a few legal hurdles, Harris County’s new game room regulations – on which the city of Houston is piggybacking – are set to take effect Friday. Late Tuesday after a hearing, a federal judge denied a request from a game room owner and operator for a […]

Wilson whines to Commissioners Court

Dave Wilson would like to not be sued any more, so he went to Commissioners Court to air his grievances over the lawsuit that stemmed from his controversial election last year. After Wilson won the election, and County Attorney Vince Ryan sued Wilson, trying to keep him from office. To prove it before trial, Ryan […]

Game room injunction lifted

The temporary reprieve that Harris County ganerooms got from the courts has been lifted. Houston and Harris County moved one step closer Friday in their quest to crack down on illegal game rooms after a judge threw out a restraining order which had blocked new regulations due to come into effect this month. Game room […]

County enforcement of game room regulations halted for now

Oops. A quest by the county and city to crack down on illegal game rooms has hit a legal roadblock after a civil court judge granted a temporary restraining order barring Harris County from enforcing strict, new regulations. The city had been poised to piggyback on the county’s rules under a new state law. Instead, […]

Indictments in petition forgery case

Whoa. Four political campaign workers have been indicted by a Harris County Grand Jury in the wake of allegations of election fraud in a Harris County Justice of the Peace race, first reported by Local 2 News in January. The suspects — two men and two women — were paid to gather signatures to place […]

Harris County threatens to sue Harris County Appraisal District

That headline may sound dry, but this is a big deal. Worried about the erosion of the tax base, county officials said Wednesday that they may consider suing the Harris County Appraisal District over concerns it is undervaluing certain business properties at the expense of homeowners. Officials said HCAD’s Appraisal Review Board in recent years […]

Petition problems

Every election cycle there are fights over who really did or didn’t qualify for the ballot. This one is shaping up to be a doozy. Three lawsuits over alleged ballot irregularities involving Harris County judicial candidates will be heard by a Beaumont judge, officials said Thursday. State District Judge Bob Wortham was appointed to preside […]

Trial date set for Wilson residency lawsuit

Mark your calendars. County officials have dropped their request to temporarily keep Houston Community College trustee Dave Wilson from his office in favor of an expedited trial date that will allow jurors to decide if he lives in District 2. Last month, the county sued to prevent Wilson from serving on the HCC board amid […]

Judge grants TRO halting Dave Wilson’s inauguration to HCC

From the inbox: A state district judge has ordered David Wilson to refrain from taking an oath of office to serve as trustee of Houston Community College System District II until a court can determine the issue of his residency. Judge Elaine Palmer granted the application filed by Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan asking that […]

Wilson sued over residency for HCC

Dave Wilson and lawsuits go together like peanut butter and jelly. The Harris County attorney sued Houston Community College trustee-elect Dave Wilson on Thursday, alleging the small business owner and anti-gay activist was not a resident of District II when he was elected to the post last month. “We think there is a reasonable doubt […]

County to tighten regulations on game rooms

It’s sort of a crackdown, but within limits. And something that’s regulated is something that’s legal, so there’s that. The regulations, made possible by a state law passed earlier this year by the Legislature, requires an establishment housing six or more video poker machines known as “eight-liners” to obtain a permit and pay a $1,000 […]

Sheriff Garcia endorses the Early To Rise campaign

It makes sense that he would. The group attempting to get a 1-cent tax hike on the November ballot to bolster early childhood education programs got a hearty endorsement from Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia on Wednesday, and announced it had cleared the first major hurdle in putting its initiative to voters this fall. James […]

Protecting polluters

Ridiculous. It’s never been easy fighting powerful polluters in Texas. A bill approved by a Senate committee today would make it even harder. With a big push from the Texas Chemical Council and the Texas Association of Business, the Senate Natural Resources Committee voted 6-3 today for legislation “streamlining” (read: weakening) the process that communities […]

County settles with Treasures

It’s over, at least for now. When city of Houston lawyers settled a public nuisance lawsuit against Treasures last December, Harris County attorneys continued to pursue the jointly filed case, saying they needed more assurances from the strip club that it would operate above board. Under a late-Monday settlement with the club, however, county attorneys […]

City settles with Treasures, county still on the case

Noted for the record. Prominent strip club Treasures, hauled into court as an alleged public nuisance and haven for crime by city and county attorneys seven months ago, has agreed to put $100,000 in a nuisance abatement fund as part of a settlement with the city of Houston, City Attorney David Feldman said. Harris County […]

Constable Trevino indicted

Lovely. Longtime Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino was indicted Friday, accused of failing to report cash campaign contributions, diverting money from his youth charity for personal use and using deputies to serve eviction notices and then keeping the delivery fees. Trevino was charged in four felony indictments alleging abuse of official capacity, misapplication of fiduciary […]

More strip club cash in the county races

Given the prevalence of strip clubs in Houston, I’m actually a bit surprised we don’t see more of this in our elections. Four people associated with the strip club Treasures have contributed a combined $48,700 to the Republican challengers for Harris County attorney and a civil district judgeship – men who could, if elected, oversee […]

All the interviews for 2012

As we begin early voting for the November election, here are all the interviews I conducted for candidates who are on the ballot as well as for the referenda. These include interviews that were done for the primary as well as the ones done after the primary. I hope you found them useful. Senate: Paul […]

30 Day finance reports, Harris County candidates

Here’s a look at the 30 day campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates. All reports can be found by going to the Harris County Clerk campaign finance reports page. Candidate Office Raised Spent Loans Cash ========================================================== Garcia Sheriff 192,670 120,957 0 388,197 Guthrie Sheriff 158,700 48,633 171,000 98,152 Alessi Sheriff 1,019 2,007 700 1,719 […]

Interview with Vince Ryan

We return to non-referendum races as we enter the last week before early voting. For the first of my last two interviews I have for you a conversation with Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, who was elected along with Sheriff Adrian Garcia and a slew of other Democrats in 2008. Ryan, who was recently endorsed […]

Endorsement watch: For the watchdog

The Chron endorses County Attorney Vince Ryan for re-election. Because crime makes more headlines than drawing up contracts for bond issues or conducting reviews of county agencies, the Harris County District Attorney’s Office has a much higher public profile than the Harris County Attorney’s Office. But measuring the relative value and importance of the two […]

SOS ups the ante against Sumners

It’s getting real at the Tax Assessor’s office. Harris County election officials got a bit of a surprise Friday morning when they attempted to open the county’s spending account on the Texas Secretary of State’s office website and found their access blocked. State officials have temporarily cut off the county’s voter registration funding. “We received […]

SOS versus Sumners

It’s not a steel cage death match, but it’ll do. In a strongly worded letter today, the Texas Secretary of State’s office told Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector and Voter Registrar Don Sumners that his decision not to purge presumed-dead voters from the rolls before the Nov. 6 election likely violates the law and compromises the […]

Who wants to sue over the HCDE election?

Depends who you ask. At a court hearing July 30, the county, both political parties and an attorney for [runoff winner Erica] Lee all said they wanted the department of education’s suit dismissed (the school board wanted it to continue). First Assistant County Attorney Terry O’Rourke said a dismissal would be the most “efficient” thing […]

HCDE runoff will be held

So ruled a judge yesterday in the ongoing lawsuit filed by the HCDE to void the Democratic primary in Precinct 1 Position 6. The Harris County Department of Education told a federal judge Monday it wants to proceed with the lawsuit as a growing number of parties sought to dismiss the case. Sarah Langlois, general […]

July campaign finance reports for Harris County candidates

You know the drill by now. Office Candidate Raised Spent Cash Loans ============================================================ Sheriff A Garcia 47,025 41,900 357,818 0 Sheriff L Guthrie 70,176 75,646 33,075 157,000 Sheriff C Pittman 11,309 11,566 5,217 24,000 DA M Anderson 73,888 60,980 33,371 0 DA L Oliver 0 150 0 0 County Atty V Ryan 56,571 33,047 145,606 […]