Friday, May 19, 2017

Steve Clappart and The Meaning of Recusal

One of the more interesting revelations from the Harris County District Attorney's Office's Motion to Recuse on the David Temple trial on May 5th was that now-Chief Investigator of the D.A.'s Office, Steve Clappart was actually retained by the Temple defense team.

From the Motion:

Prior to this subtle, yet important, revelation, I think it is fair to say that most of us did not realize Clappart had actually been an employee of David Temple's.  We just thought he was looking into some information on behalf of his buddy, John Denholm.  The fact that the lead investigator for the D.A.'s Office actually used to work for David Temple really begs the question "why did it take Kim Ogg so long to realize the tremendous conflict of interest the Office had?"

Regardless of how insanely long it took Ogg to recuse the Office, she ultimately did do so and the Harris County District Attorney's Office is no longer involved in the Temple case at all.

Right?

Well, maybe not.

I received word from multiple sources this morning that former-Temple-investigator-turned-Chief-Investigator-for-the-D.A.'s-Office Steve Clappart may not have gotten the memo on that.

Apparently, one of the named "witnesses" in Clappart and Denholm's silly alternative suspect warrant picked up a Felony D.W.I. warrant this week in a Harris County District Court.  Despite the Office's self-recusal on the Temple case, those sources told me this morning that Clappart went to the court to inform prosecutors not to allow the case to plead without his approval.  He apparently wants to use the witness's precarious legal position as an opportunity to get some real "truth about Temple" out of the guy.

This presents a couple of interesting questions:

1.  Why is the Chief Investigator of all the Investigators in Harris County, Texas so interested in a Felony DWI case?

2.  Does Clappart think he should be approaching a Defendant charged with a felony and interviewing him?

3.  If the D.A.'s Office is no longer handling the prosecution of David Temple, does that mean they can handle his defense?  That seems to be the angle Clappart is working.

4.  Are taxpayers now paying Clappart to work on the Temple defense?

5.  How did Clappart even know this guy got charged with a DWI?  Hundreds of people get charged with a crime in Harris County each day.  How did he know about this one?  The Office can put a "tickler" on the computer for notifications if a certain person picks up new charges.  Did Clappart or (more likely) John Denholm put a "tickler" for this particular witness?

6.  If Denholm or Clappart did put a tickler out for parties they believed to be involved in the Temple case, are they flagrantly violating Kim Ogg's Motion to Recuse?

I don't know the answer to these questions, but it does appear that the Office has not completely relinquished control of the David Temple case quite yet. It seems like this is something that Kim Ogg should probably clarify to the public.

Or, at least, clarify it to Clappart.


22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Clappart is a joke. The funny thing is that during his last stint at the DA's Office, everyone that ever worked with Clappart was done with him. Except for one person. And she is now one of the fired "Underperformers." He was lazy, distracted and, overall, a mess. Ironically he was one of Rosenthal's people. And then he went all crazy and tried to file that arrest warrant. Why did anyone think it would get better, and not way worse, with him as the Chief Investigator?

Anonymous said...

Consider the following HYPOTHETICAL:

WHAT IF a special prosecutor is appointed to investigate "possible criminal wrongdoing" in Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg's office.
AND the grand jury that requested the special prosecutor was impaneled by state District Judge Kelli Johnson (or the Texas AG's Office), because there was grave concern regarding the conduct of numerous HCDAO employees as it relates to the murder of Belinda Temple and her unborn baby girl.

Ogg simply saying, "I have the utmost confidence that every person in my office has acted honorably and within the bounds of the law in the performance of their duties" won't suffice and it doesn't address the Team Temple players still in the private sector.

It seems D.C is not the only swamp that needs draining.........

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Chucky Chuckster has room in his Spider Hole for Clueless Clappart........

Brad Walters said...

Clappart will almost certainly be a defense witness if Temple case is retried. I doubt that what has been referred to as a silly alternative suspect will be thought of as such after the defense is through with him this time. BTW why do you suppose the kid has such a drinking problem? Could he be drinking to suppress some guilt? Not gonna be as easy this time with defense not kept in the dark. I bet this case does not get retried.

Murray Newman said...

Brad, you know as well as I do that there are hundreds of DWI-3rd cases in Harris County, alone. Do you think they are all drinking because of "suppressed guilt" from knowledge of a murder? Seems like stretch.

And I'll take your bet about retrial.

Anonymous said...

The kid drinks a lot because he's a "player" as reflected by his FB page.

Brad Walters said...

Most people with three dwi cases are drinking for some reason. Often the reason is anxiety. In my post I was certainly not saying that guilt over a murder was a likely reason for hundreds of dwi 3rds; just possibly this one. If this silly alternative suspect was such a silly notion why did Ms. Siegler hire an attorney for the kid? I don't think I've ever heard of a prosecutor doing anything close to that before.

Murray Newman said...

Kelly didn't "hire an attorney for the kid." All of this alternative suspect theory was addressed at the trial. Riley Joe Sanders was called by the State to address all of DeGuerin's accusations, and Dick subsequently had the opportunity to cross him. It went nowhere for the defense then and there is no reason to believe that it will go anywhere for them now.

When Clappart and his numbskull buddy, Denholm, started writing that warrant, it became quite clear that they were ready to arrest these kids on an absolutely ridiculous set of facts. You're an attorney, Brad. Go look at that warrant and ask yourself what your response would be if a kid hired you because he had been charged with Capital Murder based on THAT. Forget David Temple. Forget Kelly Siegler. Just look at that warrant as a stand-alone document and ask yourself what your response would be if someone was charged on those facts.

I don't know you all that well, but I'm pretty sure that I know you well enough to assume you would want advise them to get a lawyer to deal with those serious allegations.

Especially if you knew the allegations to be bullshit.

Murray Newman said...

On a side note, I see that our lovable lunatic friend, Mr. Hooper, has finally given up on his delusional belief of Rachel being appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District. He was being quiet when he thought that the Office's Biggest Fan of the Fifth could contend with people who had . . . what do you call them? Credentials?

Now, he's back to being old Fake Energy Trading Don, the darling of the Downtown Pachyderm Club. By the way, Don, how are those meetings going? I hear you receive great Service there.

Somehow, Don knows the full name and court number of Clappart's target on Monday. Wonder how he is still in the loop, since the Office recused itself. Thanks for confirming my rumors, Old Buddy.

Anonymous said...

Murrary, wasn't DeGuerin filing documents asking for a new trial based on actual innocence on the same day Clappart was trying to find a judge who would sign a warrant without probably cause?

Anonymous said...

Guess you didn't hear that the guy in the warrants brother got picked up on felony drug charges the next day. What is going on over there?

Anonymous said...

Did you really think Ogg could keep her hands off that case? She has no idea how to properly use her resources and time.

Anonymous said...

When is the State Bar going to do something about this? This is not the first time that the Ogglidytes have done something on a case that the office was recused on. Remember, Leitner presented a case to grand jury, where he was the former defense attorney on the case after a pro tem had been appointed! Oh please tell us Mr. Ethics Czar, when will you report your organization for disciplinary action?

Anonymous said...

Kid may be a POS drunk, with a brother who is a POS drug dealer, but that does not make them murderers. More often than not those kinds of losers don't have the balls to pull a trigger.

Anxiety? Bullshit. They're just punks, doing what punks do.

Anonymous said...

Has Scott Henson come in here yet to say how you shouldn't be saying bad things about this group?

Anonymous said...

Murray as an outsider who reads your blog, I want to know if it isn't a bit strange that Denholm is listed as the person who reviewed both the so-called witness and the brother's cases? It does make it seem as though they were both flagged.

Anonymous said...

The alternative suspects brother was also arrested?

Anonymous said...

To show you the fine legal skills of one of the genius Temple apologist, look at the charge Denholm recently filed. Conspiracy to commit attempted aggravated robbery.

So what are the facts of this case? Did two guys think about buying masks to rob someone. That case is a quick nolle if anyone in the court has a brain.

This is the guy who says Temple did not do it.

Murray Newman said...

Anon 9:58,

He also filed Attempted Murder charges against a woman who allegedly hit another woman with a plastic shovel (in the accused's own apartment). "Dumb Denholm Filings" is getting to actually be a thing now at the CJC. He's a laughingstock

Denholm is a Real Man of Genius.

Anonymous said...

So is it a coincidence that he filed the charges against both guys who have a Temple connection last week? Or is there something else going on

Anonymous said...

From someone that knows both denholm and clappart. clappart is a denholm a--kisser and follower. whatever clappart does has denholm fingerprints on it most likely. egotistical denholm is a lengend in his own mind, but as the saying goes, follow the money anytime denholm is involved. in fact it would be interesting to follow the money during this whole mess. including the temple family, dickie boy, schnider (sp), quist, denholm and ogg. clappart probably missed out on the money. he's too big a dumba--.

Anonymous said...

Murray 6:06

Uh oh. According to Hooper you will no longer be getting appointments in the CJC. He apparently will be using his considerable influence with the judges to make sure you starve. What a shame. He also promises that judges who won't bend to his will are...

I'm sorry I was laughing too hard to continue with that line of complete bullshit!