The first time the jury set eyes on pro-tem Eastepp he was rude, arrogant and lied to jurors according to all accounts. When Eastepp came in he immediately extinguished everything the jury had done under the previous special prosecutor. By all accounts Eastepp acted like ‘the defender of those the grand jury wanted to investigate and a prosecutor of grand jurors’.
At the second meeting with the grand jury Eastepp showed up uninvited and rather than pursue the matters that concerned the grand jury, he emptied the room of everyone except the foreman, Dr. James Smith, and the alternate foreman. Eastepp then laid out a phoney bologna case for the removal of foreman Dr. Smith. Eastepp was told his facts were wrong and that all twelve of the jurors would be witnesses and that he should drop the issue. At issue was a false allegation initiated by Eastepp that Dr. Smith had a “personal” case before the grand jury, which was a complete fabrication.
Eventually Dr. Smith looked at the rules and practices governing grand juries and decided Eastepp was illegally overstepping his boundaries, all jurors agreed. Dr. Smith was re-instated and the grand jury called Judge Gists and he agreed to remove Eastepp. The collective jury told Judge Gist: “Eastepp’s services are no longer needed.”
But Eastepp did not leave quietly… He told Judge Gists something contrived that persuaded the judge to seal everything and dismiss the grand jury. Liberty Dispatch has been unable to find anyone in the legal community who has ever observed actions like these by Eastepp.
We can all speculate about why Larry Eastepp did not want the grand jury to look into certain high profile cases and why he was so rude. And we can only speculate about Eastepp’s relationship to any of the players in certain high profile cases. Whatever answers readers arrive at, one thing is for sure... Eastepp’s behavior is not typical in any Texas grand jury history.
Liberty Dispatch has uncovered other odd behavior by Larry Eastepp – almost six weeks after his dismissal, Larry Eastepp has not billed Liberty County one red cent. LD asked Liberty County Auditor Harold Seay about any request for payment from Eastepp, Seay stated: “I have never received a bill from Eastepp”.
Eastepp has redefined what it means for a grand jury to “no bill”. Maybe his lack of concern for being paid ought to concern us all. Is he just a poor businessman and way behind on his billing or is he doing someone a favor?
Whichever option you believe, it appears Eastepp overstepped his authority and tried to bully a Liberty grand jury into submission. It also appears the end result was just what Eastepp and whoever he is working with wanted. The grand jury was sent home and multiple serious high profile cases continue to languish.
Who was Eastepp really taking his orders from to block indictments of multiple public officials? We have our suspicions, time will tell and the conspirators will be revealed.