First off, she began the month by getting blasted in the Houston Press for participating in her March 2nd fundraiser, hosted by David Temple attorney Dick Deguerin.
The very next day, her 1st Assistant, Tom Berg, inexplicably made comments to the media regarding the already-expunged case of prominent attorney Tony Buzbee. This would seemingly be in violation of Art. 55.04 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states:
Art. 55.04. VIOLATION OF EXPUNCTION ORDER.Sec. 1. A person who acquires knowledge of an arrest while an officer or employee of the state or of any agency or other entity of the state or any political subdivision of the state and who knows of an order expunging the records and files relating to that arrest commits an offense if he knowingly releases, disseminates, or otherwise uses the records or files.Sec. 2. A person who knowingly fails to return or to obliterate identifying portions of a record or file ordered expunged under this chapter commits an offense.Sec. 3. An offense under this article is a Class B misdemeanor.The D.A.'s Office seemingly brushed off this apparent law violation by claiming that the Expunction was not valid, and this is where Ogg's personal dumpster fire really started burning.
For those of you who don't handle criminal cases in Harris County, when a person wants a case expunged off their record, the first step they take is determining whether or not the D.A.'s Office will oppose it. If the expunction is agreed upon, the process is reasonably smooth. Generally, the Office has been pretty user friendly on expunction cases. If the person is entitled to the expunction under the law, they agree. The person who usually makes that agreement is the Office's General Counsel, Scott Durfee.
On March 8th, multiple rumors started flying from multiple sources that there had been large kerfuffle between the Ogg Administration and Scott Durfee overnight. As per normal procedure, Durfee was the Office's representative who had agreed to Buzbee's expunction, following Buzbee having successfully completed pre-trial diversion under Devon Anderson's Administration.
Apparently, Ogg was not amused with whatever agreement Buzbee had received and sought to undo it, despite the fact that the Office had already agreed to the expunction. She allegedly had a Motion for New Trial filed regarding the Expunction, which is legally permissible. However, the reports were that Ogg wanted Durfee to claim he had acted without authorization in agreeing on Buzbee. Durfee, understandably, was reported to have refused.
What happened next is not clear. There were rumors of an affidavit that Ogg wanted Durfee to sign and then varying reports over whether or not he had, in fact, signed it. There were also reports that Durfee had resigned, or that he had been fired. The fine details of what actually happened aren't clear, and as of this writing, it isn't even clear whether or not Durfee still works for the Office.
On to the next scandal . . .
Late last week, multiple reports also surfaced that three, young, female prosecutors had filed a sexual harassment complaint against one of the new, high ranking members of Ogg's Administration. Apparently, an intermediary supervisor did the right thing and filed a memo documenting the allegations. How Ogg will respond to the allegations remains to be seen. I have heard rumors that the three females were called to the 6th floor and explained how they must have understood some things "out of context," however, that has not been confirmed.
And finally, there is apparently a massive dissension in the ranks over an upcoming murder case that Ogg wants filed, against the advice of her upper echelon. I'm still waiting to see how this one unfolds, but my understanding is that Ogg wants charges filed for publicity's sake, while several of her high ranking prosecutors don't believe the case can be proven and that there is a strong possibility that the soon-to-be accused is actually innocent.
We shall see.
All of this, coupled with the fact that the D.A.'s Office has suddenly "run out of money" to pay for coveted intake shifts, adds up to a huge disaster. Courthouse folks who have seen or spoken with D.A. Ogg lately describe her as stressed and overwhelmed.
With all this going on, the description is not surprising.
Keep your chin up, Kim. Only two more weeks until April.