Wednesday, September 21, 2011

THE BATTLE OF THE TITANS ... ROUND ONE GOES TO LITTLE

Wednesday was round one in a what some have said is an inevitable battle of the Titans between the District Attorney’s office and the Sheriff Department. Round One goes to Mike Little as a Liberty County grand jury “no billed” Assistant District Attorney Joe Warren. In a direct confrontation, the investigation of ADA Warren by the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Crimes Unit charges of tampering with a witness, terroristic threat and deadly conduct were brought to the grand jury. That grand jury has ruled there was not enough evidence to go to trial with. Now Sheriff Henry Patterson will have to decide if he wants to double down.

There is a great deal at stake, not just for Patterson and Little and Warren – but for all of us. Allegations of selective prosecution by (Democrat) District Attorney Mike Little and indifference to the juvenile problem by (Republican) Wes Hinch may seem like election time rhetoric to some, but to law enforcement it is an ongoing problem. Little and Hinch refused to prosecute former County Judge Phil Fitzgerald and former County Commissioner Lee Groce for FEMA fraud but public outcry forced federal prosecutors to get involved. The feds' grand jury indicted Fitzgerald and Groce. Little and Hinch have both failed to even comment on Liz Beausoliel stealing a District Judge's mail and preparing to misuse it for political purposes/extortion even though she is allegedly on film – “no comment” by both of them.

The way the D.A. and the County Attorney do the people’s business is of interest to many. Therefore this clash is more than the District Attorney’s and the County Attorney’s offices versus the Sheriff Patterson - he is not alone. Liberty Dispatch readers know there is group that calls themselves The Outsiders that have had several postings on Liberty Dispatch concerning this case. They have been indignant about what they have described as a travesty of justice in this case. Among other things they have alleged that there is a photograph that proves Joe Warren’s dog was the trespasser and that the victims of this case have been harassed since this case came to the public’s attention. They have also signaled this case is one in a handful of abuse of office type cases that when coupled with selective prosecution paint a picture of corruption that must be dealt with in order to have integrity in our justice system.

So with the Sheriff and The Outsiders losing round one, the question is what is next? Liberty Dispatch did not investigate this case and we do not know what the grand jurors were shown, or better yet, NOT SHOWN. But in the highly political climate these charges came to them in, we are certain that plenty of others will have something to say about this decision to “no bill” Warren. We watch and wait on the Sheriff and The Outsiders as they make their case to the people of Liberty County.

Beyond the legal aspect of this case, we are concerned about the obvious fact that Assistant Joe Warren has an anger management issue that needs to be resolved. Since District Attorney Mike Little decided early on to stand by his employee, we would hope for this community’s sake that Little signs Joe Warren up for some anger management classes. He needs to deal with whatever issues he has that led him to bring a gun over to his neighbor’s and threaten to kill their dogs and threaten to burn their house down.

It is no secret Liberty Dispatch has been very critical of Mike Little and Wes Hinch and we have laid out many reasons WE THE PEOPLE should expect better from both of them. But Liberty Dispatch will watch and wait from the sidelines as this clash of the Titans continues and The Outsiders cheer on the Special Crimes Unit in their effort to bring to trial some of the alleged criminals they posted about on their website.

BREAKING NEWS: JOE WARREN NO BILLED

Liberty County, 5:10 PM 09/21/2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

LCSO AND "OUTSIDERS" WATCHING GRAND JURY SYSTEM

A group of private citizens that have presented themselves to the public with almost no information except that they are interested in fighting corruption in Liberty County and that they call themselves “The Outsiders”, will be watching and waiting with the rest of us to hear the results of Wednesday’s Grand Jury.

This group with the motto, “When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest” has carefully documented what they consider highly illegal behavior by a handful of local officials with the results from their own open records requests. Included in their investigations was the infamous Joe Warren case which is now the object of so much interest as it is scheduled for Grand Jury review this coming Wednesday.

Readers of Liberty Dispatch are of course familiar with their crusade because they posted several stories on this website warning Liberty County citizens about a cartel of people who were perverting the justice system. Recently The Outsiders started their own website in order to pursue their goals unencumbered by any restraints or criticism they may have endured because they were mere contributors to Liberty Dispatch. The unknown "Outsiders" still promote their agenda unencumbered by their true identities being reviewed.

No one at Liberty Dispatch is part of the Outsiders so we can only speculate about their motives and their future plans. It appears to us the group has some capable and determined people who research and investigate information they have collected and publicly post findings they think may be of interest to federal investigators and/or the local sheriff’s department in hopes proper authorities will pick up where they left off.

Liberty Dispatch applauds any successful efforts by The Outsiders and anyone else that is sick and tired of the corruption we have been fighting for years. We also applaud any law enforcement that looks for leads anywhere they can find them, including the internet.

Most of Liberty County’s bad apples have been removed via the voting box. We have tried to play a role in informing the public of problems we have become aware of in addition to posting the early actions of The Outsiders and efforts made by the feds and LCSO.

We are however trying to make sure the public is aware that we are fiercely independent from any of these groups. Recently we have become aware of an effort to get the public to see us as one in the same as The Outsiders and as some kind of ad hoc part of the LCSO, we are neither.

As The Outsiders go forward and as the feds and LCSO go forward, we will applaud their successes but we have no desire to be so closely associated with them that we are perceived to be in lock step.

After the Joe Warren indictment... Liberty Dispatch wonders where "The Outsiders" and the LCSO will go next?

COMMISSIONER RESIGNS

Perhaps most famous for being the subject of one of Wayne Dolcefino’s investigations, Jerry Eversole, commissioner of precinct 4 in Harris County, is back in the news. News channels all across Texas reported a story that will cause Eversole to be referred to as “former” County commissioner from now this day forth. Many years ago Eversole was a coach at Liberty High School and his parents lived out there retirement years in Liberty.

At 2 pm today, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett received a resignation letter from the embattled Harris County precinct four commissioner. Eversole has been under an FBI investigation for quite some time. Earlier in the year his trial was declared a mistrial and he now faces a new trial on charges of lying to an FBI investigator. The bribery charges that lead to a previous hung jury were dismissed today. Houston news media is reporting that it is possible that the resignation and new indictments are related in a plea arrangement.

The remaining charge could land Eversole in prison for up to five years although that is probably unlikely according to local news sources. Eversole has reportedly spent over $1 million in legal fees from his campaign funds.

Missing Juveniles / Deputy Sheriff

Yesterday afternoon at approximately 6:00p.m. the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office received a 9-1-1 call from a juvenile male, who indicated he and his friend were lost in a heavily wooded / forested area at the National Wildlife Refuge located south of Dayton, Liberty County on F.M. 1409. Both juveniles were identified as Johnny Whitehead and Aaron Lloyd, both 12 years old and of Dayton, Liberty County.

Deputies from the LCSO responded to the area where the caller indicated they had entered into the woods. Several Deputies, moving apart from each other, entered the densely wooded area in a direct line. Two of the Deputies were only able to enter into the woods a short distance, however, the third Deputy, Deputy Marks was able to proceed a long distance into the woods as the sun began to set. It was at this time Deputy Marks was able to call out to and then hear the boys call back to him. The continued this activity for approximately thirty minutes to an hour and eventually he, Marks linked up with the missing boys. Deputy Marks made an initial assessment of the boys condition and quickly determined both were dehydrated and disoriented.

Deputy Marks, knowing the sun was setting and darkness was going to create more problems for he and the boys attempted to walk himself and the boys out of the woods, back to where Deputy Marks had entered into the woods to begin his search.

Captain Evans with the LCSO arrived on scene along with Liberty Co. EMS. After a short briefing by Corporal Thiess of the LCSO, Captain Evans called for air support as darkness quickly descended and the entire area was dim with visibility of only a few feet.

Deputies on scene and Fire Department personnel were using their sirens as a guide point for Deputy Marks. However, the echo effect of the sirens became a hindrance in the densely wooded area. Captain Evans, coordinating with Deputy Marks via radio, utilized a method of “pinging” by gunfire, which has a distinct, sharp sound wave with minimal echo effect. Captain Evans fired several times periodically over about one hour, Deputy Marks responding the like. Captain Evans and Deputy Marks agreed via radio they had become coordinated at a linear point, which narrowed the search area by miles.

Texas D.P.S. had, by this time, responded to the request for air support. A few moments later, Captain Evans received a report from Deputy Marks he too was exhausted, dehydrated and becoming disoriented. Captain Evans then called for a Coast Guard helicopter in an attempt to air lift all three from the woods as they were no longer able to proceed through the forest. The U.S. Coast Guard, without any hesitation, responded immediately.

Once air support was on scene, utilizing special night vision / heat seeking equipment, the exact location of the missing boys and Deputy Marks was determined. An attempt to lower a rescue swimmer to the exhausted trio was unsuccessful due to “rotor wash” which caused the large trees to strike against the rescue swimmer. At this point no air extraction was possible. By utilizing a newly installed multi-channel radio system, the LCSO, DPS and Coast Guard were able to formulate a coordinated plan of action between air and ground units to bring the three out to safety.

The Coast Guard remained overhead deploying their bright spot lights onto Deputy Marks and the boys. The DPS helicopter remained at a higher altitude to provide and overall scene depiction and guide a ground rescue team. One Deputy and several Fire Fighters from the Westlake and Dayton Fire Departments entered into the thick tree line with axes and began the difficult task of reaching the three by ground. After some time, the ground rescue team reached the exhausted boys and Deputy Marks. Both groups, now joined and still under the bright lights and assistance of the Coast Guard and DPS helicopters were able to cut and force their way back out of the forest to safety where waiting Liberty County EMS immediately triaged and treated all three for minor injuries and dehydration.

At this time all three have been treated and released and are at home recovering from this incident. The Liberty County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank all of the Volunteer Firefighters and citizens who showed up on the scene and offered any assistance they could. Also, a special “thank you” to the United States Coast Guard and the Texas DPS Aircraft Division for your tireless efforts under extremely difficult circumstances. With everyone pulling and working together this incident ended with everyone going home safe to their loved ones.