Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Galveston prosecutors terminated following misconduct allegations

A pair of prosecutors in Galveston accused of prosecutorial misconduct had their employment terminated this week, reported the Galveston Daily News, though the District Attorney's office gave no reason for their dismissals. The story opened ("Two prosecutors out at DA's office," Oct. 3):
One prosecutor was fired and another resigned the same day, but officials aren’t saying whether the shake-up at the district attorney’s office is related to recent allegations of prosecutorial misconduct.

Reese Campbell was terminated and Jon Hall resigned Monday, Galveston County Criminal District Attorney Jack Roady confirmed Tuesday. Roady declined further comment on the matter.

Campbell worked for the district attorney’s office for nearly five years. His separation of employment was listed as involuntary and without cause, according to documentation released Tuesday from the county’s Human Resources Department.

Hall, who began his career with the office in 2009, gave written notice of his resignation, which became effective at the close of business Monday.

Both men faced accusations that they withheld evidence in criminal cases. In a July 2011 robbery trial, 212th District Court Judge Susan Criss claimed Hall “secreted” evidence, including a 911 tape, from defense attorney Jyll Rekoff. Criss ordered the jury to acquit the defendant.

At the time, Roady denied the claim, saying his staff never withheld the tape from the defense. Roady also implemented a new policy that required the documentation of what is provided to defense attorneys.

Last week, defense attorney Mark Stevens filed a dismissal motion in a criminal case that accused Campbell of prosecutorial misconduct, stating a lawyer cannot knowingly offer or use evidence that he knows to be false. The motion led to a mistrial. The defendant, however, reached a plea bargain and received no jail time in connection with the fracturing of her newborn’s skull.

Roady said last week he disagreed with the allegation of prosecutorial misconduct, but he said the prosecutor should have disclosed the witness’ additional statement to the defense before trial.


Anonymous said...

Good thing nothing like this ever happens in Harris county. Tell me the legislature does not need to remove absolute immunity for prosecutors. Tell me we don't need some discovery rules in place that require these disclosures before pleas are taken. This is the kind of thing that almost requires that the defense issue subpoenas in every case because so many prosecutors will hold out this kind of material at least as long as the case is not starting trial and as we see some cross the line and begin trial without turning over Brady material. Notice how these terminations are without cause leaving theseguys potentially free to go to work in another county that turns a blind eye to law enforcement and DA'S withholding evidence in order to leverage pleas and win trials. Is Galveston county filing a grievance with the bar. That will probably be left to the defense at the expense of the defendant as well as the expense of efforts to expunge. When you consider the abuse of power that these DA's were weilding and the fact that as in most crimes this is not the only time they have done this I get a sick fight or flight response realizing that the way this is being handled is part of the reason that DA'S can point to the record and say that instances of misconduct by prosecutors is rare. This is not a published case. How would anyone attempting to document all of these ever be able to do it. So such a small percentage of cases are appealed that the searchable record is very limited. SAFEGUARDS ARE ABSOLUTELY NEEDED TO PREVENT THIS NOT ONLY BEFORE TRIAL BUT PLEAS AS WELL.

Anonymous said...

This is why prosecutors should not be trusted to decide what is and what is not Brady evidence. They never think anything is exculpatory or mitigating. They look at evidence through a lense so thick and colored with assurance of guilty that they don't think any piece of evidence will make a difference with a jury.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that Galveston County DA Roady is deserving of a pat on the back here. Good for him for insisting on high ethical and professional standards in his office.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I'd agree, 8:43, if he weren't denying his ADAs did anything wrong even as they're (apparently) terminated over it. In my book, that falls a little short of "insisting on high ethical and professional standards in his office."

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Hall is not a man of his word or handshake.

Anonymous said...

To 5:42...he's a LAWYER!!!! They beat that out of them in law school.

Anonymous said...

If Law School can beat a man out of his word and handshake he should pick a different career. Qualities that make a good man include: hard work, your word (say what you mean and do what you say) and your handshake (remember the day when a handshake meant more than a pen and paper). These recent changes at the District Attorney's Officer is great news. Karma is the law of cause and effect. I have realized that if you fight in what you believe in and don't back down just because someone has more authority than you... YOU WILL SUCCEED and stay prayed up!!!