Since Ogg has taken office, I have written several posts arguing that the Ogg Administration should recuse Harris County from further involvement in the case due to multiple conflicts of interests. One of the more notable conflicts that Ogg has is that she hired a former member of Temple's defense team, John Denholm, as part of her upper Administration. In addition to Denholm, she also hired former private investigator, Steve Clappart, as her Chief Investigator and he also did defense work on Temple's case.
This picture shows the two of them at a press conference with the rest of Temple's defense team. For those of you who might not know Denholm and Clappart, they are the two on the far right in the picture below.
The refusal to recuse defies logic.
Several weeks ago, Ogg recused the Office from all other first degree felonies handled by anyone in her Administration. The last I looked, Murder was still a first degree felony and John Denholm was still in her upper Administration. Surely, if the case is as weak as Ogg's mentor Dick DeGuerin claims it is, any other prosecutorial agency would have no problem arriving at a just conclusion, right?
So why, exactly, is D.A. Ogg so damn attached to the Temple case? Why on earth does she not simply ask another prosecutorial agency (or an attorney pro tem) to handle the investigation? Why is she so unconcerned about the massive appearance of impropriety that she is creating for herself by not letting go of the case?
The seemingly obvious answer to the skeptics amongst us is that D.A. Kim Ogg promised DeGuerin and the rest of Team Temple that she would make the Temple case go away. The only way she can guarantee the case's demise is if she maintains solitary control over it. Farming it out to any other agency or pro tem prosecutor would jeopardize that.
Those skeptics amongst us also believe that all of this "review" by Kim Ogg is nothing more than her attempt to wait an appropriate amount of time before dismissing the case and then subsequently claiming that she spent that time reading transcripts, offense reports, lab reports, and talking to witnesses.
For those skeptics amongst us, the question isn't if Kim Ogg dismisses the Temple case. It is simply a matter of when.
There are some new indicators that the answer to when Ogg dismisses the Temple case is "Very soon."
The law firm of Musick and Musick shrunk significantly on January 1st, when attorneys JoAnne Musick and John Denholm, as well as private investigator Steve Clappart, left the firm to join the D.A.'s Office. Former police officer and former Assistant District Attorney Earl Musick seems to be the only member of the firm still practicing defense.
In Earl's spare time, he does a little writing for the City of Houston Police Officer's Union website, and it looks like an article that Earl wrote in advance for their March newsletter has already hit the internet.
In the article, Earl extolls the virtues of his former associate, John Denholm, and investigator, Steve Clappart, while pointing out how clearly innocent David Temple must be. He regurgitates the information from Clappart and Denholm's ridiculous warrant and levels capital murder accusations at a then-teenage boy.
Obviously, Earl is free to write whatever he wants about the case, but the timing of the article sure does seem to coincide with Temple's next court date on March 3rd. At that court date, the Ogg Administration is going to have to make some kind of announcement about what they are going to do with the case. Given Earl's close ties to Ogg's upper Administration, a logical mind does have to wonder if he is privy to something that the rest of us only assume to be true. Given the target audience for Earl's article (former and active Houston Police Officers), he sure does seem to be explaining why dismissing the case will be a great idea. Generally, police officers don't like to hear about murder cases getting dismissed.
I can't help but wonder if the article got released a little prematurely.
Perhaps Earl's article doesn't really bug the reader as much as it bugs me. Well, then, how about this little item that a friend sent to me today?
Temple's trial attorney, Dick DeGuerin, is co-hosting a very high dollar fundraising reception for the sole person in charge of his most high profile case ever, the night before that same client has court? Oh, and by the way, before DeGuerin was Temple's lawyer, Temple was represented by co-host Paul C. Looney.
Seriously? I mean, if we are going to be this shamelessly blatant, why don't we just put David Temple himself on the host committee?
Although Kim Ogg doesn't seem to be too concerned about the appearance of impropriety, surely the people in her Administration are. Is there really someone on her support staff advising Ogg that keeping that case is proper?
I've tried to remain supportive of the Ogg Administration. I like many of her hires. I like a great many of her policies. But if she dismisses the case against David Temple without letting another single soul look at it, all of her progressive moves will be overshadowed by what, by all appearances, is a shamelessly dirty decision.
It would be one that her reputation would never recover from.