Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cleveland Advocate DA's Corner- "Lies and Spin"

In a recent oped article in the Cleveland Advocate and Dayton News, Liberty County DA Mike Little lies and attempts to further deceive the people with the help of Cleveland Advocate Editor, Vanesa Brashier.

The oped by Mike Little states the following:

"Additionally, our law specifically provides that the power to require bail must not be used as an instrument of oppression.

In other words, our judges can’t just lock them up and throw away the key. Television has really played a huge part in the public’s misunderstanding of the bail bond system in Texas.

In almost all court and crime shows such as “Law and Order,” judges almost flippantly deny bond or set a huge amount of millions of dollars. It just doesn’t work that way in the real world and under the laws of Texas.

While our judges are criticized from time to time about the bail amounts which they set in particular cases, those criticisms are almost always unfair and unwarranted. Judges do not have unlimited discretion or authority when it comes to setting bail."


What a blatant deflection and series of lies from Liberty County Mike Little trying to lay off his constant excessive bail request and bail harassment off on Judge Cain, Judge Morefield and Judge Chambers. Liberty Dispatch has evidence that Little has in fact been the one who has pushed for excessive bail amounts to harass defendants and political enemies (story coming soon). All in an attempt to harm them financially. With corrupt Judge CT "Rusty" Hight gone, LD readers and county dignitaries have questioned- 'when are the Liberty County Judges going to send a message to Mike Little that they will not legitimize his selective prosecution and corrupt acts thought their courts'?

Then you have his instrument of deceit, Vanesa Brashier on one hand who complains about Liberty County DA Mike Little's corrupt behavior and then on the other hand enables his lies and corruption in her papers and website by giving Mike Little a special place to attempt cover for his corrupt acts.  Clearly a Jekyll and Hyde formula for her narcissistic double dealing.

Liberty Dispatch would like to know when Liberty County DA Mike Little and his cohort, Vanesa Brashier plan to enlighten the public about Mike Little's homosexual rape of a retarded prisoner which he is now being sued for in the 253rd Judicial District Court.

Liberty Dispatch readers would also like to know why no federal or state grand jury has been convened to investigate these very serious charges which have been leveled against Liberty County DA Mike Little.  Furthermore, why hasn't a federal or state grand jury investigated the weapons related assault by Mike Little's number two man- Joe Warren?

Don't look for the truth in the Cleveland Advocate- expect only a circus of "Lies and Spin..."

Friday, May 27, 2011

Texas Doesn’t Rest at the Top

Texas is the envy of other states for a lot of reasons. We have a good quality of life, low taxes, a friendly business climate, and a commitment to consistently improving our justice system. That’s why it comes as no surprise that Chief Executive Magazine recently named Texas the “Best Place in the Nation to do Business” for the seventh year in a row! Texas stands in stark contrast to a state like California, which recently sent a delegation of lawmakers to our state to see what we’re doing right and why some California companies are relocating in Texas. California ranks dead last in Chief Executive’s most recent ranking.

One characteristic that keeps Texas on top is the fact that we don’t rest when we get there. We keep expanding the definition of what it means to be the best. The Texas House and Senate recently approved a proposal that will help improve our already nationally renowned civil justice system. House Bill 274 will fortify Texas’ reputation for embracing policies that ensure local courts are used for justice, not greed. Commonly referred to as the “Loser Pays” bill, this proposal includes several smart reforms that will result in fewer frivolous lawsuits, fair and honest settlements, and financial protections for both sides of a case. According to its authors, H.B. 274 should allow for the efficient resolution of certain civil lawsuits while reducing the overall costs of the civil justice system and making our courts more accessible, more efficient, and less costly to all Texas taxpayers.

These reforms are important because businesses of all sizes (and the workers they employ) have suffered at the hands of aggressive personal injury lawyers who file suits that cast a wide net and target many companies – including some companies that should never be part of the suit in the first place. Research, preparation and mounting a defense takes enormous amounts of time and resources – even for cases that should never have been filed. Without these reforms our courts can continue to be clogged by lawsuits that are filed indiscriminately, which delays or denies justice for citizens with legitimate claims and concerns.

AT ETALA, and other legal watchdog groups, we were pleased that Texas lawmakers supported this important, consensus legislation. Legal reforms have brought us a long way from our notorious past as the Wild West of lawsuit abuse. Make no mistake, reforms have worked for Texas and made us a national poster child for how improvements to a state civil justice system can help grow its economy. Thanks in no small part to legal reforms, Texas attracts business and capital investments from across the globe. Our state leads the way in job creation year after year. And we are home to more Fortune 500 companies than any other state.

House Bill 274 should help us further rid our courts of junk lawsuits and continue to ensure that Texas courts are used for justice, not greed. Even the best place in the nation to do business can find ways to improve on first place.

By Diane Davis.

Davis is the executive director of East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse, which is based in Longview.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Liberty County and Defense Attorneys "Hinched" by Little and Sidekick...

In a country divided by politics and usually divided along party lines, the one thing most of us can usually agree on is that our court system should focus on justice not political or personal considerations. Too often personal and political goals are the focus in the empire Mike Little has built in his capacity as Liberty County District Attorney. And the same is becoming true more and more often for our new County Attorney, Wes Hinch.

The most recent example according to Liberty Dispatch’s sources is the scheme Wes Hinch and Mike Little have developed to deal with the high profile case known now as “the Cleveland rape case”. Sources have told us Hinch has already indicated he will push for probation rather than incarceration in order to conceal any strategy or any evidence that would tip defense attorneys for the accused adults in their later court battle with Mike Little and Joe Warren.

If justice is the goal in this case, we must all wonder how Hinch has already decided what the penalties for the accused ought to be before hearing from all of the key witnesses in this case. Because he is new to being a prosecutor, we must wonder if Hinch is still in the defense attorney mode. Or does he only do whatever Mike Little tells him? All of these juveniles accused of raping an eleven year old girl will have a defense attorney. For our justice system to work Hinch needs to play the role we pay him to play. Mike Little is a big boy. He shouldn’t need this kind of help to prove his case. Again and again, Mike Little either acts immorally, unethically or illegally to gain an advantage against the people he prosecutes and their attorneys.

Let the lawyer for the accused figure out how to convince a jury that all of the people involved in the small school district in Cleveland had no idea what grade or how old the victim was. Let a jury decide whether an eleventh grader should get probation for having sex with a sixth grader. This girl and her parents should not have to worry about Hinch and Little’s personal political games. This girl and her parents deserve a competent and vigorous attempt to prosecute each and every accused rapist in this case. Let the facts and the laws settle this matter, not political ambitions and friendships within the legal community.

Liberty Dispatch is scratching our head on this case. Is Wes Hinch simply as lazy as some say he is and that is why he would go along with some kind of plea deal and probation? Or is Hinch as incompetent in the courtroom as some of his detractors say and he does simply not want to blow a case some people may think is open and shut? Or is Hinch blinded by friendship or some deal he has with Mike Little? Is Little promising to back Hinch as his replacement if he helps set up a big court win for him? Or is it all of the above?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

KNOWING WHEN TO GIVE UP THE GHOST!

The greatest struggle for human beings is not how much money they will make or trying to achieve a lofty social status but rather it is "knowing when to give up the ghost".

By this I mean knowing when to make decisions that are base on reason and what is the norm for right and wrong.

This comparison could be used in conjunction with passing from this world to the next and accepting glory with a glad and content heart when the time comes, but that is not what I mean in this case.

The "knowing when to give up the ghost" in this instance is the coming to a POLITICAL understanding that the Power of the Liberty County Democrat Party has passed.

It is coming to an understanding that the core values of the New Conservative Movement of Liberty County Texas will not tolerate a repressive and over bearing Judicial System.

It is understanding that those who worked in conjunction with each other to consolidate Political Power have been layed low.

It is understanding that the inner circle of the Liberty County Democrat Party has been decimated.

The point of this message is that the Hold Over Liberty County Democrats should Give UP THE GHOST and "Set our Fellow Republican Activists Free"!

It is time to give Ray Akins and Eddie Shauberger back their lives! It is time to stop punishing these men for political reasons!

It is time to stop spending Tax Payer Money on Political Persecution and Personal Agendas!

It may appear that I have a personal bias for these gentlemen but I assure you that I would not put up with this kind of behavior if it were directed at any fellow citizen of Liberty County!

It is time to "Give Up the Ghost" Liberty County Judicial System!

It will be sad to see those involved in this scheme be embarrassed on Judgement Day in November 2012!

Yesterday, they were such fine men in our eyes but they will fade into political darkness because they are too hard headed to give up the ghost.

Reprint courtesy-
By Andy McCreight, Liberty County Republican Chairman

“HINCHED”: GUARANTEES LOSS FOR TAXPAYERS

When Wes Hinch was elected as the first Republic Liberty County County Attorney since the post reconstruction era after the Civil War, Liberty Dispatch had high hopes he would be an excellent County Attorney and reaffirm to voters that voting for Republicans can benefit the county (despite Hinch’s earlier participation in an unsuccessful scheme to take water rights from landowners in Liberty County). But we bit our lip for too long as we hoped that what seemed to be a pattern by the new County Attorney were just rookie mistakes. Now we are sorry to report Hinch has once again disappointed Liberty County. Because of a pattern of behavior like we will outline below, we have coined a new term amongst us. It is called “hinched”. “Hinched” is when an elected official makes an unusual decision that can only be explained by the fact that instead of doing what is best for the taxpayer, the official is either a pitiful decision maker or their own agenda is more important to them than what the taxpayer thinks. See if you agree:

The local news has reported the late Odell McDuffie Jr.’s family has filed a lawsuit against Liberty County for gross negligence in maintaining the vehicle involved in this tragedy. The lawsuit alleges Liberty County should be held accountable for Deputy McDuffie’s death to the tune of $25 million dollars.
Liberty Dispatch has known for weeks a lawsuit was being considered, but the sadness and the shock of losing such a young husband and father and friend in this community was bound to delay any decisions by the family. After Odell’s insurance benefits were cut off to the family so abruptly and when the effects of losing the main breadwinner in the family hit his wife and children month after month, there was little doubt an investigation into the rumors of poor maintenance would be brought to an attorney.

What has surprised Liberty Dispatch, and what we think should alarm taxpayers, is the County Attorney’s response to Odell McDuffie, Jr.’s widow’s lawsuit. Rather than sympathize with the family of a fallen veteran law enforcer’s family, County Attorney Wes Hinch appears to have gone out of his way to appear antagonistic towards them. He has also gone out of his way to make certain Liberty County taxpayers will lose. We explain below.

Despite having an expert lawyer in this area provided for free by the county’s insurance (Traveler’s Insurance), Liberty County Commissioners met in regular session Monday and approved hiring local attorney Ed Norwood to represent the county in the lawsuit filed by the family of Odell McDuffie Jr. County Attorney. Wes Hinch has publicly expressed his confidence that the McDuffie family’s lawsuit is merely an attempt to cash in, this is an outrage. Hinch seems almost chomping at the bits to get at their claims but he has also said publicly this week that though the staff of his office was “more than qualified to defend the county”, it was a time factor that concerned him. There is no doubt there are competent individuals in his office who could defend this suit, him excluded.

If the County Attorney is a sensitive caring business-minded advocate for the county, he would allow Traveler’s Insurance to do the work taxpayers paid them for when the policies’ premiums were paid through the years. Their lawyer is likely to have handled many more of these cases than Ed Norwood (a local attorney known more for oil and gas law). The last thing Hinch should do is pit the taxpayers and their oil and gas attorney against a grieving widow and the family and their Houston plaintiff’s attorney in a case that could involve millions of dollars. The Liberty County taxpayers have been shifted by Hinch and the commissioners from a no lose situation to one in which we will either lose millions or we will be symbolically sitting on the front row to witness a the widow of a local hero leave the courtroom with no undetermined rightful compensation.

Why? Why would Wes Hinch make this kind of decision! It is simple if you know some of his other stunts over the last few months. We are being “hinched”. Ask the County Attorney why he is doing this and you will hear the same kind of sales pitch he was peddling a few short years ago when he was trying to talk Liberty County landowners into giving up their rights to the groundwater underneath their property.

Hinch either is a poor decision maker or perhaps he has “hooked up” in some form or fashion with Ed Norwood. Add to the questions about this the continuing question about Hinch’s commitment to the Republican Party as Liberty County Attorney Ed Norwood is infamous among some for his historical hatred of Republicans over the years. The only poised winner in the upcoming events will be Ed Norwood.

Regardless of what has happened on this matter thus far, Liberty Dispatch is sickened at the prospect of the large retainer fee taxpayers are footing to hire Ed Norwood. And the estimated $300 an hour we will continue to pay as he prepares to demolish the McDuffie’s in court.

Liberty County, get ready to be “Hinched” - again…

Sunday, May 22, 2011

KICKING THE BUMS OUT, PAYING OFF

First let‘s all have a collective congratulations for ridding the county of some of the public officials that were causing the problem, then let’s talk about dealing with the approximately $6.4 million deficit Liberty County faces next budget year.
Anyone keeping up with the local news knows a public workshop was held by the Liberty County Commissioners Court two weeks ago in Liberty to discuss the problems of borrowing and spending by previous administrations. But first let’s face the facts; several of the people in those previous administrations were in that meeting. They were (and still are) a big part of the problem taxpayers face today.

When we read a quote by County Auditor Harold Seay that says, “I’ve tried to get us back to a balanced budget which we haven’t had for years but we’ve been taking money out of the fund balance each year” - We can look past his politeness and pinpoint that is still around that caused the problems.

When we read a quote by County Judge Craig McNair that says, “I’ll get to the point: it’s grim. I know some of you are looking at what you can buy or expand, but this is not the time. Now is not the time to buy equipment but to maintain it” - We know he still has some of the same public officials salivating over another scheme to increase their budget at taxpayer expense as we have had for years.

Commissioners Fontenot, Hunt, and Brown were already lined up at the public trough to start their pet projects when this meeting started – and the proposed expenditures they were transparent about then are of course not the only ones taxpayers need to be concerned about in 2011.

Precinct 1 Commissioner Todd Fontenot infamous for being the first commissioner in history to demand an office and a reserved parking spot at the courthouse - has uncorked his new project. Fontenot requested $81,000 to build a new barn facility in order to reduce drive time and fuel expenses. He said that materials and equipment could be stored at the new facility instead of transporting it back and forth from the current location. Fontenot is obviously hoping voters have forgotten the very public protest the local Republican Party had when he pushed to stretch his precinct across the six miles between Liberty and Dayton. Several citizens stood up and testified that Fontenot’s plan would cost more in fuel and travel time than was practical. In fact, he was told publicly that if his plan passed it would cause financial hardship on taxpayers eventually and that he would become enemy number one in any bid he made for re-election. (Todd Fontenot had better get ready for a battle and to start looking for a new job) The Fontenot name is doomed to the same place as the Zbranek's name.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Melvin Hunt who has always bragged that his roads are the best in the county at the same time he came to Commissioners’ meetings with his hand out for more money, has been making deals and allowing, if not orchestrating, borrowing schemes that would exclude the taxpayer from being able to vote on them. Hunt said that any additional money that his department receives will be spent almost entirely on roads. Hunt has been very clever in using taxpayers’ money and spending it where people that helped him get re-elected told him to. What will Hunt do? Will he be intimidated by the DA?

Commissioner Precinct 4 Norman Brown requested a pay increase for two of his employees. He also requested this year’s budget be increased from $136,000 to $145,000 for next year – for fuel – and from $35,000 to $45,000 for lease equipment. Good ole Norman has a habit of requesting a quarter of a million dollars around election time to temporarily blacktop and patch constituent roads and his buddies all barter for votes for something they want. The taxpayer is left holding the bag in this process. Norman could have used that money for fuel and patchwork rather than votes, but his priorities are not necessarily ours. (Norman Brown has clearly demonstrated he is still a Democrat; he has shamelessly bastardized our local Republican Party)

The absence of former Commissioner Lee Groce and former County Judge Phil Fitzgerald and their failed Walmart scheme-like ideas and FEMA ventures will no doubt make tax relief at least a possibility in the coming years. But the presence of these others may mean that it will be a battle to meet the demands of our economic times without bludgeoning the taxpayer with higher bills.

Those who have wondered when our newly elected Republicans would begin changing things may not have long to wait. All of the big spenders mentioned above were Democrats. Commissioner Brown switched parties and is at least officially a Republican, but it remains to be seen if he will switch his thinking along with his party affiliation.

County Auditor Harold Seay predicted that next year, the county’s fund balance could be reduced to between $10 and $13 million. That is only the most recent result of the spend and tax Democratic regime voters just partially defeated in the last election. The fund balance is an amount of money set aside by the county for emergencies and as a financial cushion. That still leaves us looking at about a $6.4 million deficit between our expenditures and our revenue.

County Judge Craig McNair, District Judge Chap Cain, District Judge Mark Morefield, and County Court at Law Judge Tommy Chambers (all Republicans) have been working on some big money saving plans, including reducing the reducing amount of time non-violent offenders spend in jail while awaiting trial. And including reducing the amount of time they spend in jail (using probation to monitor any bad behavior). The amount of savings from these ideas could add up to a couple of million dollars, but still leaves the need for a more conservative approach in other areas. County Clerk Paulette Williams said that she found $32,000 in her budget that can be returned to the general fund. District Clerk Donna Brown has also found significant savings in her first five months in office as has Judge Chambers. Chambers office had to bite the bullet and spend money on a court reporter in order to ensure proper court records and therefore justice (and also to avoid potential lawsuits against the county) - but he has also significantly reduced the amount of money the county will spend on public defenders. Encouraging defendants who request a public defender to pay what they can on their defense bill should more than account for the additional expense of a court reporter in the long run. County Court-At-Law Judge Tommy Chambers said that his department will end the year under last years budget, a first in Liberty County history.

Liberty County voters may have cleaned part of the courthouse just in time as our economy continues to be on shaky ground. An opportunity to bring more a conservative, more business-like approach to county affairs comes up again in November 2012. Even if the economy has improved, it will be a great opportunity to continue to add new people and new ideas to help us continue to build a more successful and fiscally responsible community.

Liberty Dispatch will be watching and reporting…