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Posts Tagged ‘Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct

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Polk County Judge texting prosecution to aid during trial.

According to accounts last August 2012, Polk County Judge Elizabeth Coker and then assistant prosecutor Kaycee Jones (now a district judge) engaged in text messaging strategies during a felony injury to a child trial. The defendant was acquitted. The improper collusion during trial by the district attorney’s office and the seated judge is being investigated by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Defense Lawyers Association. (Source: Houston Chronicle) The only significance in this situation, out of millions of other similar episodes, is that a district attorney investigator came forward and reported it.

A neighboring colleague caught red-handed means nothing for smaller venues such as Cherokee County where prosecutors, investigators and judges practically live together during trial to wine and dine jury pools. Here they just blackmail each other with love letters and sex tapes. They share each other’s wives and DNA. It begins in both civil and criminal trials, with juries being handpicked for their involvement in the cases. On taxpayer time, judges and all interested parties are coached to respond to questioning out-of-town lawyers and prying eyes. In Cherokee/Anderson Counties’ 369th District Court, the sitting judge openly discusses his preferences throughout proceedings. Court reporters are trained to ignore his outbursts and hand-wringing to avoid them showing up on the record. His staff is openly affectionate to their counsel of choice in the courtroom, in front of juries. That is until news cameras catch them in the act showing their open bias. In March 2011, a complaint against District Judge Bascom Bentley was filed with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for his biased comments in the courtroom immediately after a defendant was found not guilty in a child homicide case. The video of Bentley’s rant was subpoenaed. (Source: KLTV)

This behavior is nothing new to those who happen to come to this particular courtroom and apparently in other small East Texas towns. It is a systemic pattern of absolute disregard of judicial and prosecutorial ethics that has been championed in this area for decades. The reason they cannot keep their mouths shut during proceedings is because they have a vested interest in the outcome. They are all related to each other. In Cherokee County cases, the outcome is designed to pump money over to family members who make a living billing for subsidized programs such as drug and alcohol counseling, non-existent protective services, and other fruitless means of bilking the system. Hence the enormity of probated child sex offenders and violent criminals who continue to reside and spend their own government assistance here.

Anderson County Deputy Clerk indicted on 918 counts of theft, pleads to two charges.

County Clerk Bridgette Franklin recently pleaded guilty to two 3rd degree felony counts of theft of public funds, for a total of $32,261. Money for public records paid at the Anderson County courthouse had been “misappropriated” into Franklin’s pockets 918 times beginning in 2006 according to investigators. (Source: Tyler Paper)

There are several identical Cherokee County cases that have either been dismissed, buried, or other arrangements satisfied to keep them out of court. The mentality of locals who do this is that their family owns the county and should have any and all access to the courthouse money jar.

Former Lon Morris president sued by Sam Houston State University for draining $1.3 million Long Endowment.

Within the melee’ of the Lon Morris bankruptcy and estate liquidation, fingers have pointed and tears shed, while deals have simultaneously been made to keep any criminal investigations off the table. Nonetheless, the latest conclusion by the AG office is that Dr. Miles McCall illegally transferred restricted funds from the million dollar James Long Endowment into CDs and had his staff covertly cashed them to allocate the funds elsewhere. Which means the LMC upper echelons and the bank moved beyond their scope as benefactor and financial manager to distribute monies as they saw fit. Where did the money go? We won’t hold our breath to find out. The LMC auction has been fast-tracked to keep all questions and actual fact finding proceedings to a minimum. Sam Houston State University filed a petition during bankruptcy proceedings to recover assets supposed to revert to them as beneficiary, if LMC dissolved. The university is also suing Dr. Miles McCall in the Rusk, TX civil court. Let the hand-wringing begin.

Reference: SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY vs MCCALL, MILES, Civil Docket Case 2012120933; filed 12/27/2012 in the 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX.

The Texas Methodist Foundation lawsuit regarding the remaining endowments is also on the back burner until the estate property is divvied up. (Source: Tyler Paper)

Out of Towners:  kiss goodbye all your donations and effort you spent keeping LMC afloat for the last several decades. According to auction results, the locals now have their hands on it.

Footnote:  Lon Morris College as an entity filed a federal suit against the former LMC President and Board of Trustees in the US Eastern District on August 29, 2013, citing breach of fiduciary duty, financial incompetence and negligence.

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