Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Channel 13 Tonight (5/1/12) [UPDATED]

UPDATE- In case you missed Ted' story, you can catch it by clicking here.

I had heard about this incident awhile back but I'm glad that Ted did a story on it.  Granted, a fake inspection sticker case isn't the most gritty of all street crime, but the principle behind what Leitner did is huge.

Leitner, who jumped to the position of 1st Assistant when Lykos rolled into office, overruled all of the people below him.  Seeing as how the Trial Court Chief in that particular court has been a prosecutor for about 12 years now, he has been at the office at least 3 times longer than Leitner, and in his experience, he thought the deal was inappropriate.  The Chief's ruling was backed up by a Division Chief and a Trial Bureau Chief (who have even more seniority than the Trial Court Chief).

But who cares what over thirty years of prosecutorial experience has to say if you have Jim Leitner using his power and influence to pay you back a favor?  Clay Rawlins got a deal for his client that wasn't offered to that same client's co-defendants.

It looks like Rawlins got a bonus for his representation of Rachel Palmer.

END UPDATE

I have been told through a reliable source that Channel 13's Ted Oberg has a story airing tonight as 6 p.m. that will be of interest to those of us at the CJC.

I honestly have no idea what it is about, but I have been told that it will be worth your time to make it to a TV by six o'clock.


34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good. I'll make a point to watch it.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Newman,

If told correctly, the story should be exciting. May even be the reason why one of the leadersinkingship team members would resign.

Only 28 days away !

Wade Blasingame said...

Get back to honeymoonin', motherfucker!

Anonymous said...

Or maybe:

http://www.tdcaa.com/announcements/alert-dps-houston-regional-crime-lab-issue

Anonymous said...

I'm willing to bet the report is "... but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."

Anonymous said...

They should have charged him with the highest degree crime possible that would not result in him being deported and fined him more than $1,000. My two cents.

JRB said...

Incredible! Just watched Oberg's report. Leitner just lost whatever integrity he had left. His excuse doesn't withstand scrutiny. Of course he wouldn't have approved the deal without Lykos' approval. RP continues to be a lightening rod that will fry Lykos come the election. Hopefully someone will hold her feet to the fire at the debate.

Anonymous said...

The story was pretty typical of this administration. Someone scratches Pat's hairy back and they get their back scratched in return. Is Jim Leitner going to handle every case now in the DA's office. If so, it would save the taxpayers money on salaries for all those pesky law school graduates who actually go to court and try cases. I don't know what's worse: the crime or the cover-up.

This administration has proven time and time again that it will coddle it's cronies and throw those who speak out against it under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Re: KTRK story
Hopefully the public continues to have its eyes opened to the way the current administration is working to serve....oh, let's say...criminals. Way to go, Jimmy! You trying to get fired before you get to resign?!...making her holiness look bad...tsk tsk tsk

David Jennings said...

Wow, is it possible for Ted to fall further? Or is Dolcefino just going to have to find another intern before Ted hurts himself? I had so much respect for him. Oh well.

Questions for the DA candidates? HarrisCounty.cc

Anonymous said...

I was wrong. Lycos does not have Leitner's balls in a jar, Oberg does. We are all laughing at you.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

David, how is this Oberg "falling"?

All the Lykos bunch crows about is how they ended the "good old boy system" they describe as coming before them. Does this not smell like a good old boy system to you?

What is even more troubling is that Leitner basically acknowledged that it was a great deal and that he has the power to do whatever the hell he wants to.

Does that arrogance really not concern you????

Anonymous said...

A note for David Jennings and the debate moderators. Pat Lykos last week had a robocall with Robert eckels in which he said that Lykos deserved another term because she is denting probation for illegal aliens. Can she please explain the decision of her subordinate who offices 10 feet from her in this case. Did she approve of it? If not, did she discipline Jim.

Benizon please pass on to Jim and Lykos. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Is there really anyone out there who still thinks Leitner has a scintilla of integrity left?? His integrity is like Elvis. It left the building a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be no doubt about the guilt of the guy. Blatant cronyism. As bad as Obama.

Anonymous said...

Looks like shit,
Smells like shit,
Tastes like shit,
Is shit.....
The Lykos Administration.

Anonymous said...

Another Mountain made out of a Mole Hill. A hand full of haters looking to create hate and discontent. We all know that Plea Deal are made because it benefits the public and is the right thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Anon12:37, how does this deal benefit the public exactly? How is giving someone special treatment the right thing to do?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:37--
Just how many molehills does it take to make a mountain, for fuck's sake?

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:37--
Just how many molehills does it take to make a mountain, for fuck's sake?

Anonymous said...

This whole situation looks even worse when you know that Leitner did not even review the file before he made the deal. Leitner misses the entire concept of having the power to do something versus the wisdom to do it. It is called judgment and he, like the others on the 6th floor where the Lykos administration offices, has way too little of it.

Anonymous said...

This is pretty minor. I get Murray's point, but this is a minor issue.

The irony is that ADAs are getting upset because a guy got a good deal, after decades of judges being a prosecutor in a black robe and helping stack the cards against defendants. In many circles, that's Anderson's reputation. So it's no wonder the ADA weenies, who need help even in conservative Harris County, want the Holmes/Rosenthal era back. It's pretty sad, not being able to win a case without having a judge in your pocket.

This is of course not an endorsement of Lykos. But I hope she wins the primary, because you nut jobs will either not vote in the general (meaning Fertitta will win because Obama is on the ticket) or will cross over to vote for him just to keep Lykos out of office.

It's pathetic that that's how y'all are going to make your decision. But it's looking like Fertitta is in the right place at the right time.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Part 1

Dear Rachel,

Got your email. FYI-it's not just former DA's that hate Lykos.

P.S. - We hate you too.

From: Don Hooper
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:51:27 -0500
Subject: FW: Harris County Justice



My wife Rachel Palmer asked me to pass on her thoughts concerning the DA's race and I could have not said it any better.

Please pass this on to your Republican primary voting friends.



Dear Friends,

Please forgive the nature of this message; but, I feel that the time is now to tell you about the horrible injustice happening in the race for District Attorney. A few days ago, as I walked into a building in Houston, I came face to face with a security guard. In a second, I recognized the woman as the mother of a victim in a murder case that I tried a few years ago. This was a particularly difficult prosecution because it was a cold case having happened years before. It was the epitome of the challenges that face prosecutors every day and justice prevailed, the process worked. The woman who I encountered was concerned for me. She had seen me in the news and didn't understand what was happening or why. She knew my character and knew something was wrong. She was right.

I began as an intern at the District Attorney's Office in 2001. My first supervisor was Carl Hobbs, a man who has dedicated his life to public service. He taught me about the criminal justice system and how to be a fair and just lawyer.

Throughout my time as an Assistant District Attorney, I have prided myself in always doing the right thing. Over the last few years, a number of national scandals have tarnished my profession. In 2008, Chuck Rosenthal was forced to resign as Harris County District Attorney after admitting that alcohol and drugs impaired his judgment for some time.

Later that year, Patricia Lykos, a former police officer and judge, was elected District Attorney. Over the last four years, Judge Lykos originated the recently honored Haverstock Hills Apartments Initiative, which aggressively changed the face of community for the better by removing the criminal elements. Prior to Judge Lykos, murder after murder happened in this area and witnesses were afraid to come forward. Elderly residents were too frightened to leave their home to even check their mail during the day. Now, the playgrounds are filled with happy children and the crime rate is down. Most importantly, the area gangs are on notice that the District Attorney means business.

Judge Lykos, the first female Harris County District Attorney, makes certain that all credible claims of innocence are appropriately investigated. This includes the release of Michael Anthony Green who was imprisoned for twenty-seven years for a crime that he did not commit. Jeff Blackburn from the Innocence Project of Texas said that, "under Lykos, Harris County is becoming the single most powerful example of how to change this system and make it work right." In 2008, Judge Lykos promised to pursue an independent, regional crime laboratory. A few weeks ago, ground was broken on the new forensic laboratory that will provide sound scientific evidence and impartiality in the pursuit of criminal justice.

Under the leadership of Judge Lykos, the Harris County District Attorney's Office has prosecuted Houston Police Department union members for stealing over $650,000 from their organization. A former employee of the District Attorney's Office and her husband were prosecuted for stealing restitution payments since 2002. Judge Lykos also fought a judge's illegal ruling against the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

Part 2

cont....


In January 2010, Judge Lykos initiated a fair drug policy that lead to a significant reduction in crime by focusing on apprehending the drug pushers and traffickers while treating abusers. She has also reduced the number of repeat impaired driving offenders with an innovative program that provides treatment for first-time defendants.

Even with all of these positive changes and initiatives, a group of former and current prosecutors dislike Judge Lykos because she was not a handpicked successor like Johnny Holmes and Chuck Rosenthal. So, upon her election victory, these individuals embarked on a mission to ruin Judge Lykos. Their one goal is to embarrass and humiliate Judge Lykos to prevent her re-election. Justice is never a consideration in their minds and they are blind with hatred so they fail to recognize the vast improvements. They see Lykos as an outsider and they are scared that she will continue to uncover malfeasance and prosecute those responsible.

With all of the great accomplishments of Judge Lykos, the opposition to justice movement fabricated a scandal to attempt to reclaim the District Attorney's Office. In late October, a grand jury removed the District Attorney's Office from their grand jury meeting room and began "investigating" the office. Their plan was clear - they would do anything to hurt Judge Lykos. Their solitary mission was to give Judge Lykos's opponent enough fodder to prevail in the election.

The grand jury claimed to be investigating the Houston Police Department's breath alcohol testing vans; however, that was simply a cover for their real plan, which was to denigrate Judge Lykos. First, Susan Brown, the judge presiding over the grand jury, attempted to hold Carl Hobbs, my mentor, and another outstanding Assistant District Attorney, Steve Morris, in criminal contempt for following the law as it is proscribed in the code. It is mandated that a prosecutor lead a grand jury. Brown created a public spectacle in order to embarrass Mr. Hobbs and Mr. Morris and place a stain on the office in general.

Then, after promising to appoint a neutral special prosecutor, Brown appointed two men who were obviously biased against Lykos as prosecutors to lead the grand jury. One, Stephen St. Martin, was formerly my chief at the office and left because he did not want to work for Lykos. The other is a personal friend of Brown.

Anonymous said...

Part 3

cont....


This bogus investigation continued over the next few months. In November, I provided over 1,300 pages of records to the grand jury regarding the vans. On the afternoon of December 14, I received a subpoena to appear before the grand jury the next morning. While I cannot discuss what occurred in these secret grand jury proceedings, I can tell you that this group's sole motivation was to hurt Judge Lykos. They were determined to do anything to damage her credibility in the community. I made a decision to rebuke their misuse of the grand jury process.

So, what can you do? Well, I respectfully ask you to vote for District Attorney Pat Lykos on May 29. Then, please tell your friends and family to vote for Lykos. I believe that everyone deserves to know the truth about this vicious campaign of entitlement. Finally, continue to pray that individuals who believe in justice and fair treatment of everyone will always lead our criminal justice system.

Please beware of mailers and telephone calls that you may receive over the next month. Conservative Republicans of Harris County and the Link Letter are pay-for-play mailers that endorse candidates who pay thousands of dollars for these endorsements. Conservative Republicans is an organization run by Steven Hotze. Allen Blakemore currently represents Judge Lykos's opponent, Mike Anderson, and Hotze's group, Conservative Republicans. Blakemore previously represented Chuck Rosenthal and the Houston Police Officers Union. Both Rosenthal and the HPOU have endorsed Anderson. You may remember that when Hotze was charged with driving while intoxicated, Rosenthal dismissed the case.


This entitled group will say and do anything to return to power. They simply don't like Judge Lykos because she is not one of them: a crusty prosecutor with a win at all costs attitude.

I want to say that without my family and friends, I would never have been able to make it through this time. Your kind words, prayers, and thoughts have meant more to me than I could ever tell you.

I believe in truth, justice, and that our society should work towards preventing crime rather than just reacting to it. This isn't about me - it is about our community. This is about the mother that I visited with on Friday. Anderson is running on the campaign promise to return the District Attorney's Office to the "old days." I believe that we can revolutionize our criminal justice system and reduce future crime.



Best always,

Rachel Palmer Hooper

Anonymous said...

" It's pretty sad, not being able to win a case without having a judge in your pocket. "

Is that you win all of the criminal cases you try, asshole?

ZACK FERTITTA FOR DA said...

Rage @ 8:31 is on the money!

We can't go back to the old regime's bullying arrogance and Lykos is a disaster.
We need a fresh and fair face for the future.
ZACK FERTITTA is well rounded and has a thirst for new ideas looking ahead instead of backwards.

ZACK FERTITTA FOR DA

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 9:13 pm:
Jim didn't give the guy probation--he gave hime time served and a fine. Also, the guy wasn't illegal--he was not a citizen, but he also wasn't in the country illegally. My take is that he was a resident alien...
Not saying the deal passed muster with me--or the smell test--but also want to keep it real.

Anonymous said...

Hey man, in case you haven't noticed, you won't win any fans around here by saying I'm right. In fact, tell them I hate Fertitta, and they'll vote for him in droves.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Oberg's story jogged my memory of a story done years ago (by Channel 2) involving HPD officers driving their personal vehicles without proper registration and/or inspections out of the city parking lot after their shift. Some of those guys were the same ones out writing tickets for civilian offenders while on the job.
In the video, Oberg scrolls through his computer and intimates that there are hundreds of offenders all charged with felonies for tampering with a government record. He didn't tell us the citizenship status of any of those other offenders did he?
Were other 1st time offenders really sentenced to any jail time or were they given a deferred adjudication sentence?
Couldn't Oberg have taken another 15 seconds to explain that INS views adjudicated sentences as convictions as he was explaining that Mr. Umer faced possible deportation.
Suppose that there were 100 arrests made on this "high priority" sting operation and 99 of them were U.S. citizens. Is deporting a man that has obviously established his self as a business owner in our community really taking a bite out of crime?
Where are the undercover task forces that could be out there catching the uninsured motorists to begin with? And since when did Constables start conducting felony task force investigations?
If a Constable conducts a felony investigation at what point does he surrender the investigative findings to the HCSO or HPD, since felonies aren't tried in JP Courts?
Was the investigation spearheaded by the portion of Constables that buy their own cars and work without compensation, or did the DPS ask for assistance from Precinct 4's officers that weren't out serving divorce papers ?
Since the crime was introduced and facilitated by the officer, is this a new Mystery Shopper Program we haven't heard about?
When it comes to reports that HPD solves only 11% of all burglaries and thefts,
(http://www.click2houston.com/news/HPD-faces-overload-of-burglary-theft-cases/-/1735978/8599214/-/vq1ne1z/-/index.html)
they blame the property owners and the shortage of investigators. It's pretty sad when a detective actually contacts only 8 percent of these victims, but we've got officers assigned to task forces that actually go out and create more crimes by turning non criminals into criminals.
Lastly, I am completely dumbfounded that there are still individuals breathing among us that are stupid enough to believe that there won't be backroom deals and personal favors done no matter who is elected as District Attorney.
Objectivity and unbiased reporting rarely get viewers in an uproar though.
I'll be calling the police now every time someone shows up at my door trying to sell me a box of steaks just in case that steak salesman is some Constable wanting to cart me away for receiving stolen property.

Anonymous said...

Mike Anderson dominated the debate tonight over Pat Lykos. His answers reflected the fact that he has actually done the job of prosecutor unlike his opponent and that he knows the first priorities of the DA's Office should be public safety and integrity rather than social programs for political show.

Anonymous said...

Hooper, Muhammad was not charged as a public servant. Talk to your smart appellate wife . She can use crayons and explain it to you.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:08

Seems like you believe that constables can't file felony charges - they can and do.

They are also part of a special task force that is trying to stop these car inspection sticker fraudsters.

This report wasn't about individuals who let their inspection stickers lapse.

This is about inspectors who commit widespread fraud by passing hundreds and hundreds of vehicles - many of which are clunkers.

This leads to increased pollution and makes a victim out of some more schmuck who buys a car that he thinks has legitimately passed inspection. Poor guy will find out the hard way.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Dear Rachel Palmer Hooper -

You stated, "Lykos initiated a fair drug policy that lead to a significant reduction in crime by focusing on apprehending the drug pushers and traffickers while treating abusers."

Here's the truth: Lykos' drug policies lead to a significant reduction in ARRESTS for drug offenses.

HUGE difference.