Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Current, former prosecutors in Williamson, Harris Counties forced to testify about alleged misconduct

In a pair of extraordinary cases in Williamson and Harris Counties, prosecutors are being forced to testify regarding alleged misconduct and as one might expect, they're not universally happy about it.

In Williamson County, reported the Wilco Watchdog last night, "In a hearing on Monday morning, [visiting Judge Sid] Harle ruled against the Motions to Quash filed by Davis and Anderson, which meant the depositions [will] go forward" to determine the cause of alleged Brady violations in the wake of Michael Morton's DNA exoneration.  Further, the investigation has already begun: "Retired Detective Don Wood, the lead investigator did not challenge his deposition and testified in deposition today. However, John Bradley said a few weeks ago Wood has a "health issue effecting his memory."

Rightly notes the Watchdog, "A powerful sub-plot in this drama involves the calendar. If Davis and Anderson can frustrate the deposition process until the final exoneration of Morton is filed and perfected by the Third Court of Appeals, then the discovery in the case—including the depositions—would cease, based on a crafty provision in the AGREEMENT constructed by Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley. Given the legal games now being played to delay the process, it is becoming clear why Bradley was insistent on including this provision in the agreement."

The Statesman reports that  second-chair prosecutor Mike Davis has relented and agreed to be deposed, but District Judge Ken Anderson, first chair in Morton's prosecution, has filed an additional litany of motions hoping to stall until after time runs out on the discovery agreement with Williamson County. Reported the Watchdog::
Ken Anderson filed:
1. A Motion to Leave For File
2. A Petition for Writ of Prohibition
3. A Petition for Writ of Mandamus
4. A Motion for Temporary Injunction
5. A Motion to Quash
6. A Motion for Protective Order
7. A Motion for Stay of Discovery
Meanwhile, in Harris County, a rogue grand jury has refused to allow Harris County prosecutors to participate in their questioning of witnesses related to alleged retaliation surrounding a whistleblower who wouldn't sign off on results from the Blood Alcohol Test (BAT) van testing. But they have called four prosecutors to testify as witnesses and asked for a special prosecutor not affiliated with the Harris Couty DA's office. This could turn on DA Pat Lykos quickly and provide Murray Newman, who has already dubbed the event "Watergate on the Bayou," enough additional fodder to last the rest of his bloggerly days.


Jerri Lynn Ward said...

Why are you describing that grand jury as "rogue?" It is doing exactly what it was designed to do, being a check on government power. You should describe the grand jurors as heroic.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Just a turn of phrase, JLW, meaning they've severed the DA's leash. I agree with you the grand jury's independence is laudable (and fascinating) and I didn't mean to disparage them.

Anonymous said...

Another grand jury acting independently in Harris county has the DA there so frightened that she is appealing their right to conduct investigations without the ADA's present.

William L. Anderson said...

I'm impressed that a Harris County grand jury would go against a prosecutor. Most grand juries are nothing but toys of prosecutors and will sit up and beg when ordered to do so.

rodsmith said...

i'm not sure how they figure they can run the clock out. the orders were given when it was legal to do so. they can drag it out all they want....if they don't get the order oveturned no matter how long it takes the order is STILL LEGAL and they can be deposed!

otherwise it would be perfectly legal for any crimnal to tie up the lawyers till the statue of limitations on thier crime hit...sorry that's a wash!