Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thoughts from Thursday's Events

Although the actual hearing for the Motion to Compel filed by Special Prosecutors Jim Mount and Stephen St. Martin was reset until Monday morning, December 19th, there were some interesting and noteworthy events that happened on Thursday.  Here are a couple of the highlights:

1.  Although Rachel Palmer was escorted from the Grand Jury room up to the 185th for the Motion to Compel, she wasn't in custody.  I heard that rumors were running rampant through the CJC that Rachel had been placed in handcuffs and brought to the 185th.  That was absolutely NOT the case.  At some point, her attorney Clay Rawlings, who was angry with Mount and St. Martin about the Motion to Compel, announced to the court that his client was being mistreated and brought up "in custody."  Rachel appeared mortified at her attorney's assertion and both Mount and St. Martin made a point of letting the court know that wasn't the case.

2.  Over the lunch hour, David Mitcham was apparently added to the Defense Team.  In the time between the original morning meeting on Thursday and when the Court reconvened at 1:00 p.m., I heard from several sources that Rachel was trying to hire new counsel (or at least additional counsel).  Sure enough, Mitcham showed up with everyone at 1:00.  Smart move by Rachel.  David is a great lawyer.

3.  Immunity is not on the table.  The basis for which St. Martin and Mount are asking the Court to compel Rachel to testify is that their questions are not incriminating.  The questions are sealed and nobody but the parties know what they are at the moment.  Under the Special Prosecutors' position, there is no need for immunity to be offered if the questions wouldn't require anything for there to be immunity from.  At some point during the hearing, Judge Brown made mention of the possibility of Immunity being offered to Rachel, and both Mount and St. Martin were seen shaking their heads in unison.

4.  If Immunity had actually been offered, would it be worthless, anyway?  This turns into an interesting legal question that Mark Bennett has touched on over at his blog with this post (specifically in the comments section).  Commenters Mike Trent, Mike Paar and Bennett aptly point out that Immunity covers everything EXCEPT perjury.  So, let's say in a hypothetical-theoretical situation that when Rachel testified before the Grand Jury last month she stated a set of facts that have now been contradicted by testimony from the other witnesses who were called after her (i.e., Ed Emmett, Steve Raddack, El Franco Lee).  Now the Grand Jury has called her, Leitner, and Bridgwater back to explain themselves for their earlier answers and they want to invoke their 5th Amendment rather than risk getting caught in a lie from their previous testimony.  Even if given Immunity, would it cover possible perjury from their previous testimony?  Mark seems to think it would.  Mike Trent points out that it isn't specifically spelled out.

5.  Will it all be pointless in 2012?  No, I'm not talking about the Mayan Calendar predicting that the world will end next year and that we will all be progressing into the next Astral Plane (known to some as a land called "Ho Ha.")  Recent legislation has indicated that the power of all existing Grand Juries across the State will cease at the end of the year and all new ones must be empaneled at the beginning of the New Year.  Word on the street is that Lykos and Crew are eagerly anticipating all this Grand Jury work to be for nothing, but there is disagreement amongst the legal scholars over whether or not a previously authorized hold-over Grand Jury can continue.  Either way, I think it is totally awesome of the Upper Admin to be relying on a technicality to bail their asses out of hot water.

6.  Bridgwater and Leitner did not testify in Grand Jury on Thursday.  Although the 1st Assistant and Bureau Chief did receive subpoenas to come back to the 185th Grand Jury, they weren't actually called in on Thursday, most likely because they were having to deal with Rachel pleading the 5th.  I'm curious as to whether or not they will be pleading the 5th, as well.

7.  Bridgwater has Campaign Implications.  Unlike Leitner and Palmer, Roger Bridgwater is running for Judge in 2012.  Currently, he is unopposed in the Republican Primary.  If he pleads the 5th and creates the debacle that Rachel has, or if any of these folks end up indicted, is the Republican Party going to be running a candidate who is under indictment?  Or would they ask him to withdraw and just cede the race?  If Jared Woodfill was smart (don't worry, Roger, he isn't), he would be getting a back-up candidate in that race by the end of Monday's filing deadline.

8.  Jim Leitner is starting to fall apart at the seams.  We had a preview of how the 1st Assistant reacts when he doesn't know the answer to the tough questions back in 2009.  On Thursday, in the hallway immediately after the hearing, Leitner really lost his composure when pressed by Ted Oberg as to whether or not he found it "offensive" that an Assistant District Attorney had taken her 5th Amendment right.  Instead of doing the smart thing and saying, "This is an on-going Grand Jury investigation and our Office has no comment," he ended up shrieking at the crowd of cameras that what he found offensive was being backed up against the wall and forced to answer questions.  However, his response was probably more understandable than Rachel's dismissive "God is good" statements to the media.

9.  Don Hooper is out of control.
Hooper has been very busy during this Grand Jury investigation.  There have been a variety of posts on the Chronicle comments section that he has been accused of authoring under pseudonyms.  Those comments typically attack Mike and Devon Anderson for their positions on the DIVERT program.  Although my favorite pseudonym used was "Fake Murray Newman" (which I actually thought was pretty funny), another comment bore the name of the 185th Grand Jury's foreperson.  That one isn't quite as amusing.
Last week, Hooper signed his name to a blog comment on David Jenning's Big Jolly blog, a comment that oozed the exact same bilge that these pseudonym commenters have been using on the Chron blog.

Can I prove that Hooper is posting as Fake Murray Newman and as the foreperson of the Grand Jury?  Nope.  Would I be willing to bet my lunch money that he is?  In a heartbeat.

I don't know why this knucklehead thinks that he is helping out his wife with this type of behavior.  I further don't understand why members of the Republican Party seem to think he has some sort of influence with them.

10.  Where in the World is Patricia Lykos?  With all of this going down, there has been no sign of the elected D.A.  There are complaints of personnel moves and promotions being put on hold because Lykos won't sign off on them.  She sure as hell hasn't stood with her people in court.  Even her proposed move to make Rachel Palmer the public spokesperson for the Office hasn't been approved.  I can't imagine why.

Also notably absent from the 185th courtroom on Thursday were any other prosecutors outside of the Upper Administration.  No rank and file prosecutor in their right mind would have showed up to watch the fireworks.  If they were perceived as coming to gawk at Palmer in the hugely embarrassing situation, they would have been labeled as enemies of Lykos on the spot.  Not to mention Hooper would have been snapping photographs of them, as well.

So, that's why I started doing the live tweeting from the hearing.

And I'll be back doing it again on Monday.

33 comments:

Jigmeister said...

Any immunity agreement I ever wrote exempted perjury. Can't imagine Stephen drafting one without it. Obviously any prior perjury wouldn't be covered by a subsequent grant of immunity. Would love Jim and Stephen dragging Hooper into the GJ and swearing him in. A couple of warnings about jury tampering or intimidation ought to stop it. If Leitner is as smart as I used to ink he was, he will have already done it.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Monday should be interesting to say the least...

Anonymous said...

Old Dog barking - a tune to you tonight from the 1960's classic, Mama's and Papas - Monday, Monday:

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be

Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way

Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be

Oh Monday Monday, how yould cou leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah

But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be

Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee

That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah

But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ...

Thank You, Thank YOU...

Anonymous said...

The Hooper(s) have a lot of faith in the David Mitcham/Clay Rawlings Team. Several years ago, David Mitcham made Don Hooper's charges disappear for...

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Bellaire-home-burglaries-involve-theft-of-jewelry-1502461.php
"Driver wields anti-theft device in fit of road rage; A West University Place resident was threatened Friday by another motorist wielding an anti-theft device called "The Club," near the intersection of Buffalo Speedway and West Holcombe. ...The SUV driver pulled in front of the complainant and braked his vehicle several times until they reached the stop light. When they got to the intersection, the SUV driver got out of his vehicle carrying The Club and yelled that he was going "to kill" the complainant..

Clay Rawlings then sued the complaintant (aka the West U resident that was driving down Buffalo Spdwy and attacked) on Hooper's behalf for many many $$$. ...seriously, you can't make these things up!

Anonymous said...

Old Dog’s pawing Prediction for Monday:

The damage has been done. PL is insulated. Palmer may be the best "catch" that can be gotten - especially after all the antics - legal and otherwise done friday. Still, total disarray at the top. No leadership even in a crisis.
Musical chairs with lawyers midstream; Botched interviews which should be given by the elected D.A.; Respect must be earned, not demanded or exspected without merit; As a subpoenad witness NONE of these people should have been talking to the press - including Jim L.! even if he didn't testify.

Not knowing what was said by other witnesses (but maybe it was attempted to be found out - just guessing here - Remember the side show - contempt regarding the transcript?) "Carl, inquiring minds want to know what that witness said and we are still on this case so order the transcript."

5th won’t protect perjury - especially the easiest form to prove: two completely opposite statements made under oath on the same exact point. Thus, if there is NO such second sworn statement:

Prediction: The 5th will be taken again by Ms. Palmer.

Monday, Tuesday,
Wednesday, Thursday,
But no Friday, err Monday too,
But there still a-nother Tuesday
and the clock, is ticking too.

Happy New (naw) Year!

Mark W. Stephens said...

Old Dog,

One song. One set of lyrics. SO many applications...perfect choice for our listening pleasure :)

Larry Longer said...

Pat Lykos will stand up for her people and yes I will vote for Pat Lykos because she is a true person with good morals. Go Pat

Anonymous said...

Come on Rachel, cut a deal to flip on lycos. If she fires you then have Clay sue her.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Old Dog I will be humming Monday, Monday, since it is stuck in my head. WOW! I can't wait to see what happens next. Is time for the wicked witch to melt into the concrete of her smoking area. RP may be just the right instrument to accomplish that. Maybe, we can hope, at least the beginning of the end.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:56
Uhh, could you give me one example of Pat L standing up for any of her people.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

We don't all have the same ideologies, Anon 8:16. If Mr. Longer prefers candidates that are inexperienced, negligent, incompetent, mean, vindictive and kind of stupid, then Pat Lykos IS who he should be voting for.

Anonymous said...

Look good, think smart, and win!!!!

Anonymous said...

I was just reading your link to Big Jolly and Hooper's comments on Divert and Judicial Bypass (aka ABORTION)...One would assume that if a father is so opposed to abortion then he should be hands on with his own beautiful 7 year old blonde haired green eyed daughter - providing a stable upbringing instead of fighting paternity tests for 4 years and subsequently ignoring all court orders for payment once paternity was established. How can any man pass judgment on another when he has denied responsibility for the existence of his own child. Perhaps someone SO openly opposed to abortion should take responsibility for his own moral and financial obligations for the children he has brought into this world...and perhaps his attorney wife (in respect of the judicial process) should encourage him to start making payments (ONE payment /ONE cent would be a start)

Anonymous said...

As the previous statement was made, how can any of you pass judgement on any one. Its fact that the Lykos administration came in corrected the problems and now there are people who are angry about it. They arent able to do the things that they use to and man o man, Wayne Dolcefino would have had a field day back then. I'm retired, but I still will support Pat Lykos. Lets face it she has done a good job, will continue to do a good job. My family, friends and I will support her.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 12:03,

You sir/madam, are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Old Dog to any "PL drive by quickie posters who basically say IN SHORT:
"I LOVE PL AND SHE GOOD, SHE IS THE BEST AND BETTER THAN THE REST, AND I'M VOTING FOR HER BECAUSE SHES GOOD - BAM! – consider two scenarios: One Psychological, the other Legal. They both however deal with the same concept: Conciliatory statements. To be fair, this also applies to anyone who says the exact opposite as listed above, but on balance: This blog is REPLETE with specific examples of the negatives. Bottom line:How do you know what you know?

1)Psychological: Client tells Shrink: “My husband is an asshole, bastard, and no good some-bitch”. Dr.: Do tell, why do you say this? Well he just is – no specifics. Switch clients with same exchange: Client: Well because, he ignores me, bumps into me in the hallway on purpose, calls me a bitch and whore in front of the kids, stays out late and comes in at 3 AM drunk and is so loud he wakes up the kids, etc., etc., - specifics!

2)Legal / criminal Justice: Officer to ADA: there’s dope in that house. Q: HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW? No need to give a similar example – you get the point. Got to show basic P/C. reliable Informant searched then makes buy at location etc., etc.

Come on take the challenge and list the positives that have been brought to this office in light of ALL the SPECIFICS listed. IE: PL I love you, and support you and want to renew our "marriage" for 4 more years and let me count the reasons": 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 ....

And PL "haters" same to you - however I think by now after 4 years almost it would be repititious.


Old Dog tired now. Have to Paws for a few days. Gotta make some of you happy to be sure. Retirement has its benefits.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 12:03pm

"Now that we have heard from the Hooper and Lykos families.."

Listen and learn, We live this everyday and she has all but destroyed a once proud and respected agency. If you ever get to the point in your life where you are embarrassed to tell people where you work and who you work for, only then could you possibly understand. You sir / madam, are a moron and I can only hope you are neutered or spayed to prevent the further spread of you're obvious ignorance.

Anonymous said...

Damn computer. C O N C L U T I O N A R Y STATEMENTS NOT concillatory,!

Old pissed st computer

Anonymous said...

Why would the special prosecutors offer Palmer immunity? If that were to happen all she would have to do is fall on the sword. She would be in the clear regarding any charges over it (save perhaps perjury - which are difficult to try anyway if she did in fact perjure herself) and the rest of the Lykos admin would be vindicated by her admissions - at least in practicality.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Pat Lykos is hiding with Joe the Investigator?

Anonymous said...

I heard the DA's office is hiring but then I found out it is just the leadership team personally hiring defense attorneys to represent them.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 12:03,
You act like Wayne Dolcefino wasn't around during the Holmes/Rosenthal Administration.
Rosenthal certainly had his problems, and there are plenty of defense attorneys that like to rumble about how he handled cases, but there is nothing like the investigation into criminal acts of official oppression that the Lykos Administration is currently experiencing.
You clearly haven't done your research, and if that is the case, no amount of reason will change your mind. Hopefully the ranks of the informed will outweigh you and other Lykosites this go-round.

Anonymous said...

Scenes from a marriage:

"Don Honey, does this indictment make my ass look big?"

"No way honeybunch, but I thought the contempt order was a better fit. I mean really Rachel, I love you in orange."

Anonymous said...

whincanon 12:03
Have you even talked to any of the people that have been impacted by this woman? I am talking about the good people that have been driven away by the bad management that is Lycos legacy. Do research before you open your mouth to show STUPID. Why I bet you even vote a straight ticket, not who will do the best job. Just straight cause your too lazy to find out about the candidates. I will pray for you since you obviously need help.

Anonymous said...

Dear 12:03,

You obviously must be a family member of Lykos or an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa,

Will you please bring me a new Leadership Team for Christmas?

Let the fireworks continue. Down with our wonderful Team (i.e. Patsy, Jimmy, Roger, Hannah, Johnny, and Joni).

Anonymous said...

RE: Ms. Palmer

How does the old saying go...."if you take the King's Scheckel"...

Anonymous said...

I love that the comments from people like Mr. Longer and anon 12:03 who talk about what a good job Lykos did can't point to any specifics. Just that she "corrected the problems" of the past administration or "she will stand up for her people." Give us ONE concrete example of what you are talking about (and sorry, the change in a crack pipe policy doesn't count).

Even the Lykos hacks have to speak in generalities because no specific examples exist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Madame Palmer, for the best Christmas gift I could imagine.

You once told me that I had poor judgment, and that everybody was talking about me. HA!

I hope the administration treats you as kindly as they and you treated me. Merry Christmas!

- No Longer Your Employee

Janet Hamilton said...

I am so sick of hearing the news refer to Rachel as a top HCDOA official. I guess she is referred to as such due to her nose being stuck up Lykos butt. All of those butt trailers seem to be important (at least in their minds). Sorry but I do not like when the District Attorney's have been there much longer and worked much harder and don't get the recognition they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Well, like it or not, she is a top employee. I'm talking about organizational structure, not professionalism or trials or anything relevant. Just titles.

Think about it. She supervises(ed?), what, 50 ADAs, a caseload of ten thousand cases, and dozens of trials a month, right? That's more action than most cities have.

Anonymous said...

"She supervises(ed?), what, 50 ADAs, a caseload of ten thousand cases, and dozens of trials a month, right? That's more action than most cities have."

Let's be clear here--midemeanor chiefs supervise their own people, and they write the evaluations, and they handle the cases. Palmer does little in that arena. What she does do, I don't know, except perhaps get involved in newsworthy cases or politically sensitive ones. Mostly she just turns down vacation and comp requests, as they are still short handed down there.

Anonymous said...

It is obvious that Racheal Palmer is more afraid of Bridgwater than Lykos. She said "God is good". If she would have said "Jack and coke is good", we would have drawn the conclusion that she fears Lykos more.