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The Collin County Observer has learned that two Collin County judges are currently the targets of separate grand jury investigations. Court house observers I have spoken with suspect that both investigations are politically motivated.
Judge Suzanne Wooten, of the 380th District Court has recused herself from all criminal trials for several months now after, my sources tell me, the former judge she defeated brought forth charges of illegal campaign finance transactions.
And Judge Greg Willis, who recently resigned as judge of the County Court at Law #6 is, according to court house insiders, the target of an investigation alleging possible irregular authorization of payments to defense attorneys representing indigent defendants.
Judge Willis is generally considered the front runner in the GOP primary race for District Attorney.
Grand Jury proceedings are, by law, secret. The particulars of both cases can not be known unless and until the grand jury hands down indictments.
The Observer can not and does not know what testimony has been given or exactly what the allegations are. What this author does know is that the Collin County court house is abuzz with rumors.
However, sources close to both judges have confirmed that they are indeed targets of grand jury investigations.
According to court house insiders, it is likely that former judge
Robert Charles Sandoval filed his charges against Judge Wooten directly with the grand jury. Sandoval is said to still bear a grudge against Wooten who beat him handily in the 2008 election.
The most popular explanation I've heard for the investigation against Willis is that the DA and his chief assistants do not want Judge Willis to become the next District Attorney - they believe that if he is elected, he will "clean house" by replacing many of the lead prosecutors.
Local attorneys point to what they say is a history of using grand juries for intimidation by DA Roach and Chris Milner, the Chief of the District Attorney's Special Crimes Division.
Milner has, in the past, been accused of using grand juries to "go after people with vague offenses". They bring up Milner's indictment of local attorneys Deric Walpole and James Vasilas who were indicted by Milner for "tampering with government records" for making an error on a legal pleading. Both indictments were eventually thrown out.
Milner also investigated the allegations of fraud between Dallas County Sheriff Bowles and jail contractor Jack Madera. All indictments were later tossed out because the charges in the indictment were not criminal offenses, but not before Bowles lost his primary bid for nomination as sheriff. In yet another big case, Milner secured indictments against Denton County Sheriff Weldon Lucas. Less than a week later, a judge dismissed all charges against him.
Special prosecutor is needed.
Regardless of the merits of either case, the prosecution of a judge by the DA, who on a daily basis pleads before that same judge, opens the door to charges of political intimidation.
When Dallas and Denton Counties needed to investigate their sheriffs, their DAs asked for an outside prosecutor. When the Rockwall county DA was accused of wrong doing, again an outside prosecutor was brought in.
Every day, members of the district attorney's staff appear before our judges and make motions, ask for pleas, and argue cases. Every day, our judges make decisions to accept or reject those motions and pleas. Every day they hold trials where they try to remain fair to both the defendant and the DA.
It is insane for a county district attorney to prosecute the county's own judges. If John Roach believes there may have been wrong doing by either judge, then justice requires that he ask an outsider, with no vested interest in the outcome, to investigate and prosecute if warranted.
It is wrong for the Collin County District Attorney to proffer charges against a jurist who seeks to use the ballot box to replace him.
The fact that these two cases have proceded this far smacks of arrogance on the part of the Collin County District Attorney. His actions look like cheap and brutal political stunts. If justice is to be served, Roach and his staff must either drop their investigations, or turn over their evidence to a special prosecutor and let him convene a new grand jury to hear the charges.
In regards to Judge Wooten, wouldn't the Ethics Commission be the one filing charges, or am I mistaken.
I hope Judge Willis is our next District Attorney.
The fact that this has leaked from a Grand Jury proceeding should send up red flags to everyone.
I couldn't disagree more. The problem is not that these issues have become public. The problem is that they are happening at all.
Injustice done in secret is still injustice.
Thank you for your comments.
I'm not a lawyer, but it is my understanding that venue for campaign ethics violations is Generally in Travis County, and usually AFTER the Texas Ethics Commission has failed to get satisfaction.
Look at the Priddy case in Dallas. First the ethics commission fined him, then they fined him again, then the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct ruled with a warning. Taking a campaign ethics case directly to a Grand Jury looks to be to be highly irregular.
I'd welcome any comments from attorneys familiar with the law and remedies on campaign ethics.
I assume that you are referencing the altered and inconsistent Willis personnel file that DA Roach is giving to anyone who asks him - in violation of county policy.
Roach and his office using the Grand Jury for this type of activity is in violation of many laws, both State and Federal. If he has abused his office in this manner he and his assistants have committed first degree felonies and can be imprisoned for 5 to 99 years and fined $10,000 each.
Even by forcing Judge Wooten to not hear criminal cases they are impeding her ability to perform her lawful duties and are guilty of official oppression - a Class A Misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to $4,000 fines.
It is time for the District Judges to stand up to the oppressive and illegal actions that have been practiced in this county since Roach took office.
In my dealings with Judge Wooten in her court, I have found her to know the law and apply it with an even hand. That is a much bigger statement than anyone has made about her predecessor in a very long time.
I'm not impressed by general allegations of campaign finance "irregularities." In my last campaign, my opponent and I watched each other's Federal Election Commission filings like (hungry) hawks and, yes, both of us received letters from the FEC informing us that one report or another needed to be filed differently or with additional information. But neither of us ever made an issue of it--because it's not an issue.
Already the families, the accused, and businesses in Collin County must wait for justice because there are too many cases and too few courts. It's a huge disappointment to me that we will have to forego the careful jurisprudence of Judge Wooten in criminal matters until this witch hunt is over. The people of Collin County deserve better and they got better when we overwhelmingly elected Judge Wooten in 2008.
Yes, Jim, Judges do need to Follow the Law but by golly so does the District Attorney's office!
“You might want to check with the PROSECUTORS who practiced in his court and ask them why THEY stopped doing bench trials to him.
You might find that he was FINDING TOO MANY DEFENDANTS 'NOT GUILTY'.
Is that what you want in a DA?”
This peculiar smear campaign response is quite telling, isn’t it?
Note that “Interested Observer” speaks of asking prosecutors – not lawyers of all types – but only prosecutors. Why is that?
I’ll tell you why.
Because “Interested Observer” is only “interested” in keeping a job.
You see, this person works in the DA’s office and doubtless will be impacted by the very much needed heavy duty house steam-cleaning and defumigation of the stench reeking from the Collin County District Attorneys Office headed by the secretive “ego-meister”, John Roach.
As if to underscore my point, look at the wildly warped mindset of this DA’s office employee.
Is JUSTICE the concern mentioned?
Hardly. What is mentioned as an issue of concern is that too many people WERE FOUND INNOCENT.
And that means the prosecutors looked bad. Think about it.
How bad is the case when the State, with all of its’ immense powers, can not prove its’ charges?
When the State can’t substantiate its’ charges, the defendant is innocent. Which of course IS EXACTLY what we DO want to happen.
Innocent people should not be convicted, much less even charged.
BUT, if as does “Interested Observer”, you were to work in our DA’s office where Convict At All Costs is the main goal –
and your career and paycheck are dependent upon convictions –
instead of Justice At All Costs –
then you have a problem when the roaches crawl back under the refrigerator.
So what does “Interested Observer” do? Take a page right out of the Collin County DA handbook:
1) Conduct a smear campaign,
2) divert attention from the issues at hand, and
3) hide behind smokescreens as typified by our State’s penchant for holding grand jury hearings in secret from the public.
(Or for deigning long decided issues as being “under investigation” forever so that Freedom Of Information Act requests will be denied - forever.)
Greg Willis has been a prosecutor, a defense attorney and a judge. He's got the most complete perspective of any candidate for the DAs office. An elected DA is elected to administer justice, not simply to get convictions. Your comments are so outrageous that they should be unconstitutional. Indeed, if Judge Willis conducted trials before him as you suggest, his actions would indeed be unconstitutional. How do you determine how many cases should result in a criminal conviction? Not long after Greg Willis took the CC at Law 6 bench, a client of mine (Larry Crow) had a son of his (don't remember his name) get thrown in jail for driving in excess of 100 mph on the George Bush Turnpike while he was drunk. If I recall correctly, the kid (23 or 23 at the time) was more reckless than he was intoxicated. What happened to the him? He got the biggest sentence that he could have gotten. Is that tough enough for you, Interested Observer?
I thought Sandoval lost because he treated attorneys and litigants poorly. Moreover, Sandoval was the least regarded judge amongst the members of the bar for years. Sandoval also got lazy in a campaign where his opponent was motivated and had a good chance of ousting the incumbent. Yes, Sandoval came across as a puppet for Prometa, which is an expensive and ineffective treatment for methamphetamine addiction that Sandoval tested on "voluntary participants" like lab rats. There's just too much out there about Sandoval to surmise that he lost to Wooten because of election law irregularities.
I don't put much stock in the opinions of those who turn pedophiles lose to molest more children.
First, it concerns me that a former judge is permitted to bring criminal allegations PERSONALLY to the grand jury. As a normal citizen, none of us conventionally have the right to pursue our own claims before the grant jury. We have to go through the DA's office. Perhaps there is some loop hole which Sandoval is exploiting, but it seems that Sandoval simply needs to move on. The election was nearly 2 years ago, and since then he has fought (and lost) to become a visiting judge in Collin County, the Dallas County, and now he's individually prosecuting his replacement? When will Sandoval be put out to pasture?
Secondly, John Roach has served the people of Collin County for a long time. Collin County has a reputation for being tough on crime, and I think that's a good thing. But, what 'tough on crime' means is that people who commit relatively minor offenses are punished. I think its unfair to hate John Roach for not prosecuting the parade of NBC's To Catch a Predator. That was an embarrassment, and Roach was recognized for his restraint. That's largely regarded in the legal community as the right choice. Also, I don't think a county employee should ambiguously call him an "evil man" without substantive evidence and examples. Being a county employee you surely see things on the inside. But, that raises the bar to provide examples, not rhetoric, in accusing elected officials. By all means, if you have concrete information - bring it forward!
I agree with Bill that the current DA must step aside in the investigation of a Collin County judge running to be the successor. But, I have to point out that a similar situation is going on in Dallas County. 7 - SEVEN - Criminal judges have paid DA Watkin's wife THOUSANDS of $$$$$ for 'political consulting'. Surely, that doesn't pass the smell test any more than Roach investigating his potential successor. My point here is that these things are happening on BOTH sides of the isle.
Suzanne Wooten is a fine judge and it is a disgrace that she is subjected to this "investigation" because of political motivation.
Investigating Greg Willis because of a dispute over fee payments to defense attorneys is ridiculous. If there is a dispute, maybe other measures could be taken like, oh I don't know, a discussion, etc. But a grand jury investigation?
Greg Willis for DA can't happen soon enough. Go Greg!!!
I am looking forward to the election of Greg Willis for DA. He is the most qualified of the candidates that I know of.
Prosecutors who whine that a judge may actually find a defendant guilty should either
a. work harder and follow the rules of evidence like all the other attorneys do and
b. maybe not indict everyone who looks at them sideways.
I heard these same whiney complaints about Judge Copeland before he was a probate judge - "oh no! he actually makes the prosecutors meet their burden of prrof!" "Oh no, he actually finds defendants not guilty when our case blows!"
And no one cares about a personnel evaluation done by someone who obviously has a grudge against a candidate.
Someone please call this person a Whaaaaambulance
Interested Observer wrote:
“It's pretty funny watching the Willis PR train at work.
I am not a CURRENT prosecutor of the Collin County DA's office, don't know any of the players, including Roach or any of his prosecutors, ………..”
OK now we’re playing poorly planned word games. Note the incrementalist wordage “CURRENT” in the sentence above, spinning “Interested Observer” a little closer to the truth.
This person is in fact a CC DA employee afraid of job loss.
Oddly, this person then actually writes of knowing none of the DA office players (in fact not even Roach or any ADA’s) but then goes on smearing one of the players, specifically Judge Willis who happens to be seeking the office.
Next our petty character assassin mouthpiece, “Interested Observer”, vainly attempts a distraction by insinuating that the weary public’s outrage regarding John Roach and his band of cronies is merely PR work and specifically PR work for Judge Willis.
My points, made earlier and now, would be the same regardless of the candidates to replace the [REDACTED]. They would be the same if “Interested Observer’s” comments were about “Judge Judy” on TV.
“Interested Observer’s” twisted montage of mentally challenged, off point thoughts shows why CC prosecutors lose cases. And that reason remains that their Convict At All Costs mentality and “ethics” don’t hold water. Clearly the tired non sequitur rhetoric of being “tough on crime” equating with convictions is just that – a non sequitur. But “Interested Observer” clings fast to the politics, PR and practices of the Roach administration with a death grip. Small minds cling to small ideals.
What Collin County desperately needs is a Justice At All Cost district attorney in office as well as Justice At All Cost jurists on the benches. It is long past time for a serious house cleaning. Innocent Collin County residents’ lives are at stake. We all should be treated fairly, not as just notches on the prosecutors’ belts hoarded up to boost their paychecks.
For the record, I support any candidate, regardless of political party, etc., etc. that understands that the “duty of the District Attorney is to seek Justice, not convictions”.
However, The Observer asks that you keep the discussion civil. I will not tolerate name calling or rude behavior.
I will delete all posts that do not meet a standard of "common courtesy"
I had to go back to find the offensive word because it didn’t come to mind.
It turns out, I used the name of a pesky insect as an all too convenient, hopefully humorous, metaphor for the current DA and his practices and legacy. I mention this only because I do not want readers of your fine reports to think that I stooped to using profanity in making my comments.
I did not and would not.
Admittedly, I do appreciate turns of a phrase in speech or the written word. However, my intention was not to name call with any untoward intent. I apologize.
Readers should simply replace the redacted word with the word “district attorney”.
I don't understand how Greg's qualifications and Roach's indictment are related?
The problem is that the DA is investigating judges whose courts he and his staff appear in daily.
If he has a credible complaint against a sitting judge OR a candidate for his office, then he should immediately recuse the Collin County DA's Office and seek an outside prosecutor.
Otherwise, anything he does will be perceived as politically motivated.
Once again, I call on John Roach to stop the investigations, appoint an outside prosecutor and a new, untainted Grand Jury. Either do that or drop the cases entirely.
Bill did a good job chronicling the public failures of Milner's high-profile investigations, but there are many lesser known investigations which have also blown up in their faces, and they refuse to learn from their mistakes. Roach has tarnished his former solid reputaton as a district judge by either directing or allowing his minions to pursue baseless charges for political purposes. And he compounds that abuse of power by being so arrogant as to refuse to apoint a special prosecutor to even examine the allegaions in a fair and unpolitical manner.
Perhaps its because he is an absentee landlord, (now spending all his time at his new home in Angelfire, NM) but he seems to view himself as the King of the county and therefore untoucable and unaccountable to the public. (Do a google search of his comments on various issues over the past few years and you will find lots of statements where he is touting his own authority and power and daring anyone to defy him.)
If Roach doesnt want Willis to be the next DA, then he should be a man and run against him or help support his own hand-picked successor (like most kings prefer to do) but instead he is misusing the power of his office to acheive a political purpose.
That is not just dirty politics, its a criminal offense and hopefully the U.S. Attorney's office or some other strong-minded individuals will hold him and his dogs accountable for it in the future.
“This argument essentially says that if you are a candidate for office you are entitled to immunity from grand jury investigation.
NOTHING IS MORE UN-AMERICAN THAN IMMUNITY FROM PROSECUTION BECAUSE YOU HAVE POLITICAL CONNECTIONS.
The law is the law.”
Then why does John Roach and his underlings in fact argue in high court(s) that they are immune from prosecution, simply because of their job titles in cases where they have admittedly broken statutes in the Texas State legal code?
I agree that immunity from prosecution when lawbreaking occurs, politically motivated or not, is patently un-American.
Those arguing for their own immunity such as “Roach et al” are also patently un-American and brazenly hold themselves above the law and the citizens of Collin County.
Yes, “the law is the law”.
But not, apparently, for them.
And that friends, is the problem and the point of this debate (not who the candidates are).
(And for “Interested Observer”: “Sure, sure. Whatever you say …… But I fear thou dost protest too much”)
Local Attorne, you might be on to something---he could be clearing the way for his son, Judge John Roach, Jr., to file at the last minute to be a candidate for DA. Pappa would have to get rid of the competition first. The strategy looks to be working so far.
"According to court house insiders, it is likely that former judge Robert Sandoval filed his charges against Judge Wooten directly with the grand jury. Sandoval is said to still bear a grudge against Wooten who beat him handily in the 2008 election."
Don't you mean Charles Sandoval?
I have heard that this same ADA was assigned to Judge Greg Willis, Judge Jill Willis and Judge Wooten's courts. He apparently made negative public comments and was openly hostile to all three judges. Then magically in October, Leeman was promoted/assigned to the department pursuing Judge Greg Willis and Judge Wooten, headed up by that Chris Milner guy. How in the world does a DA's office run a fair and impartial investigation if one of their own has a vested interest in the outcome? Coincidence?
This makes me sick to my stomach. John R. Roach seems to me to be a man who will stop at nothing to control Collin County Politics. Using the grand jury process to go after politicians in this county is nothing less than an ABUSE OF POWER.
But, I am not surprised. I attended a Collin County Republican Men's Club meeting last week where Roach announced that he was "the Most powerful elected official in Collin County." Really? Does he really need to stroke that ego anymore?
This is sickening. And this Chris Milner guy doesn't care about the truth or about whether or not he can take a case all the way to a convicition. ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS AN INDICTMENT.
It's time that John Roach stops ruining peoples' lives and to GO AWAY.
The people of Collin County should DEMAND that that building named after him be re-named immediately.
Hello FBI? John Roach and his subordinates are NOT ABOVE THE LAW and need to be held accountable!
Please argue the issues. Name calling is offensive, not helpful.
The standard here for comments is "common courtesy". Please abide by it.
With what the Collin County D.A.'s Office has been doing and continues to do, I think about that quote from Martin Neimoller, "In Germany, they came first for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist....then they came for me and there was no one left to speak up". I think it is past time to speak up in Collin County.
Thanks Bill for making a dent in what’s been going on.
If there are negative comments in Mr. Willis' DA personnel file, I ask who wrote them? Is it someone who had a beef with him? Second, Willis left the DA Office a good ten years ago or longer. If the comments are negative and actually true, who is to say Mr. Willis has not matured a bit since then and become a better man for it? Third, I can only tell you that in MY dealings with Mr. Willis, he's always been very professional and above-board the past many years I've known him. I trust my own instincts about someone I know more than what his detractors may want me to believe.
Finally, I intend to support Mr. Willis because he may , MAY be able to restore a little "maturity" to some of the childish politics going on at the courthouse.
I have no doubt that Greg Willis has done absolutely nothing illegal or unethical. Same goes for Judge Wooten.
You would think that Roach would be embarrassed to associate with that Milner guy after all the fiascos he's been involved in. That's when you realize that it's not Milner, it's Roach. Roach is the one who thinks all of this nonesense is a good idea.
Spin it however you want, but if prosecutors in Willis's court won't try bench trials in front of him because they don't have confidence in him, then why should Collin County have confidence in him being tough on crime?
It wasn't the DA's in his court, it was Roach who wouldn't let them try cases to Willis. In fact, they defied those orders all the time and tried cases to Willis. In fact, they would routinely beg me and many other attorneys to set cases for bench trials because they didn't want to embarrass themselves in front of a jury.
"You might want to check with the prosecutors who practiced in his court and ask them why they stopped doing bench trials to him. You might find that he was finding too many defendants 'not guilty'[sic]."
Which prosecutors? Apparently, you've spoken with them. Tell me who they are, and I'll call them, and we'll just see what they have to say.
Better yet, Interested Observer, who are you? It's easy to cower behind a pseudonym and make a bunch of exegerated claims about what anonymous prosecutors think. If you want someone to take you seriously, give us some names, starting with yours.
Anyone who seeks his endorsement will be someone who I don't think I could be persuaded to vote for.
Every Collin County citizen owes it to themselves and every other resident to make an effort to investigate these allegations and then get out and vote.
We have a number of good candidates running for office this time. Do the homework and make your vote count. Every one cast is critical.
I have no idea what our future will be but I pray it is better than it has been. It can be if our citizens become informed active voters.
John Roach is correct when he says he is the most powerful elected official in this county-that is true of every county. The District Attorney's power is reinforced by his almost complete immunity from law suits to disagreements over how the office is run and what policies are in place. The average citizen has no idea of this and only realizes it when he/she is unfortunate enough to have dealings with that office-either civil or criminal. It is a position that is best held by someone who is humble, experienced and willing to listen when the actions of the office are challenged. A District Attorney must also have similar skills to the CEO of a major corporation. Vote-it will be the most important thing you do for the future of this county.
I understand that all of the goings on are secret but I would like to hear from the DA's Office as to why they are pursuing these two indivduals. Give us some facts, give us some insight or quit the witch-hunt and let's move on to the next generation of justice in Collin County.
As for Greg Willis, anyone with any decency who has met him knows he is cloaked in integrity. He could cite the Code of Judicial Conduct, and served as referee to many a heated battle--never choosing sides. So I actually thought it was a sick joke, when I began hearing about it. Didn't he even have us do the Pledge of Allegiance before each trial?
The responsibility for "not guilty" verdicts rest solely on the DA's "policies." We all know that cases lacking merit should be dismissed. Over the past several years, juries have repeatedly complained about these cases, and the waste of their time spent on them. Our juries consist of many busy, successful people, who do not need their time wasted on such matters. Surely, our taxpayers voices should be heard by their elected officials.
Judges uphold a vow, and under Canon 3, they must acquit--otherwise, the higher courts would quickly reverse them, and probably wonder how on earth a highly-educated Judge could find someone guilty beyond a reasonable doubt when the proof was non-existent. Clearly, the "policy" was simply a Pontius Pilate tactic at laying blame.
Judge Wooten is another shocking example. She is such an ethical Judge. It makes no sense. Our taxpayers elected her to be our Judge, and to try to circumvent that is a slap in the face to our Collin County voters.
Simply put, a special prosecutor should be designated for these matters. If these grand jury investigations are all "objective," and done in good-faith, then they can both confidently be assigned to a special prosecutor. All prosecutors (including special prosecutors) must follow TDRPC 3.09,anyway, so it should be a no-brainer.
Either way, nobody should feel intimidated to speak out. We have a First Amendment right to speak out mind. Thanks, Bill for pointing to the Giant Elephant that has been in the room for far too long. My job as attorney is important to me, but my honor is greater. I want my family and children to always know I stood up for what I believed in. So I won't be anonymous. Thank you.
Make no mistake, this isn't about making sure everyone follows the law. This is about bullying people who don't lay down for Roach. It's unfortunate that it's worked on many of the judges in this county - they just fall right in line and don't dare challenge him.
Despite running things from the satellite office in Angelfire, NM, Roach insists on manipulating this election so that he can have some say in who succeeds him. He wants to handpick his successor. And he's made it clear that none of the current candidates are qualified. Of course, judging by his performance, it doesn't appear Roach was qualified either.
It's too bad that he's able to hide behind the secrecy of grand jury investigations and the citizens of Collin County won't get to see how much time and money has been wasted on political witch hunts and personal vendettas over the last 7 years.
Both Judges have outstanding reputations which will not be tarnished no matter what the latest Roach witch hunt attempts to do.
I hope Judge Willis and Wooten find a way to sue those responsible for this reprehensible smear campaign on their reputations and livelihood.
The bar should no longer tolerate these baseless attacks and personal invasions.
The issue isn’t about who the candidates are.
For these attorneys and others, the issue is the well known arrogance, shady dealings and abuse of power by John Roach and his many spineless minions that have besmirched the cause and pursuit of Justice in Collin County for years.
Politics, indictments/convictions without regard for merit as well as outright PERSONAL VENDETTAS are undeniable trademarks of John Roach’s “administration”.
Many of the attorneys who comment on this issue have been prosecutors as well as defense attorneys.
The fact is that Collin County residents “outside the system” are clueless as to the long running corruption, incompetence and “back room” underhanded dealings that have pervaded the county’s government and agencies for year upon year.
We deserve better. And to get better – residents need to begin to pay attention instead of just voting their party line.
We deserve Justice, Openness, Fairness and Straight Talk. And we’ve had very little of those attributes within our county for decades.
These attorneys who speak out publically are to be applauded.
They are encouraged to speak out in even more widely publically viewed forums so that our uninformed residents have their eye’s finally shocked wide open.
Where are you? You were going to get me the names of all of those prosecutors who didn't want to try bench trials to Willis (but kept doing so anyway). Please, do tell. Who are they? Who are you? If you were really interested, you'd answer those questions.
those attacking Greg Willis and Suzanne Wooten, are afraid too.
But you can bet that we, they and us, are afraid of different things.
We are afraid of having to look back over our shoulders for having spoken up. For having done our duty as we saw fit. For having fulfilled our oaths.
what are THEY afraid of?
Perhaps, like Mr. Key says, they are afraid of having to put up or shut up, to reveal who they are and actually be confronted.
possibly, like Mr. Stuckle said they are afraid of losing the power.
or maybe like Mr. Henderson said, they are afraid their selected candidate wont win.
I personally think they are afraid of the words "Special Prosecutor"
I am reminded of a statement by William Pitt the Elder, who said in a speech to the House of Lords in 1770 that “Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it." This is doubly true when, as with Roach, Davis and Milner, those minds were infirm and bent toward machination prior to gaining power.
To the prosecutors who work for Roach: it is not enough that you personally disagree with what your office is doing. Even if you are not personally involved in this, Roach benefits from your standing in the legal community. In other words, Roach, Davis and Milner profit from associating with you; like it or not, the fact that you work with them is an implicit endorsement of their actions. Your integrity has got to be worth more than the paycheck you are receiving. The barricades are under assault. Can’t you see that these men are, at best, white-washed tombs? You defile yourself by associating with them. You have chosen sides. Seriously, do you really want to fight for Roach's team?
Immunity strikes again: “Federal judge says Pennsylvania judges who illegally sent kids to juvenile detention facilities in exchange for kickbacks can’t be sued for decisions they made on the bench.
Even if those decisions involved, you know, illegally sending children to juvenile detention facilities in exchange for kickbacks.”
OK. Let’s discuss this immunity thing once again. Three bets are involved.
The first bet is that 99.7% of the people in this country do not know that THE LAW GRANTS IMMUNITY to Judges, Prosecutors, District Attorneys, Police Officers, etc. WHO BREAK THE LAW.
The second bet is that virtually no American citizen ever VOTED for such an un- American law.
This immunity doctrine stems directly from history’s “sovereign immunity” laws of past Kings, Queens and Tyrants. After all, if you ARE the law – as embodied by a King – then you can not and will not rule against yourself.
What happens when human beings are subject to no laws? What happens when virtually no matter what they do, they know they can not be punished? What happens when they are literally “above the law” ?
History shows us the obvious answer by recounting the murdered millions upon millions of innocents damned at the very whim of despots who were “above the law”.
The rampant corruption within Collin County government for example is widely known and has recently been coming under ever increasing criticism, such as from Bill's reports. One only has to look at the immunity laws to understand why such lawbreakers have nothing to worry about and act so brazenly.
THIS COUNTRY has fought wars and been bled nearly dry throughout it’s short history to assure that all men are equal – and that includes being equal in terms of laws. Our country is literally founded upon this principle.
When George Washington was being put into the first leadership position of our young democratic republic some people wanted to make him the “King of America” – literally. Washington thought the idea was ludicrous, pointing out that one of THE purposes of the Revolutionary War was to free us from the whims of tyrants who were above the law. Thus we have presidents and a democratic republic – not a monarchy within America.
Proven criminals should be held accountable – regardless of their job title. Can anyone seriously argue otherwise?
WHO PUT these immunity laws in place within our governing body of laws? It was not the American people. It was the beneficiaries of such laws - Judges, Prosecutors, Politicians, District Attorneys, Police Officers and other government officials.
Such laws were never put to the American people for a vote – because the outcome would have been obvious: Certain defeat by citizen’s outraged by even the thought of such insanity.
Here’s the third bet. At your office or next social gathering, etc. simply go around and ask people at random if they believed that certain government officials such as Judges, Prosecutors, District Attorneys, Police Officers can BREAK THE LAW WITH IMPUNITY in America, by law?
Ask them that, if such were the case, should such laws been immediately eliminated?
Keep a tally of the responses and write back with your findings…….
It's wonderful to see so many members of the local bar speaking up. I hope this blog post does just a little to brakdown the culture of fear I've sensed existed in the county justice system for several years now.
I really wish that, and I am specifically inviting anyone from the District Attorney's office to join into the discussion. Hit logs to the Observer show that plenty of folks at the county courthouse and now in Northern New Mexico are reading this, but all seem to be listening in silence.
Justice requires a full airing of all perspectives... and from what I've sensed and now have seen aired in the light of day, justice is needed here in our county.
Most of the prosecutors are too young to see the big picture and what is really going on here; therefore, unwilling to speak up. Instead, they justify this decision, in their mind, by pretending that Milner's section is separate and unrelated to what they are doing. They, like many of us, are slaves. i.e. money, fear, I agree with Keith above.
Convictions at all costs, smear campaigns, lip service to Justice, and massive amounts legal gamesmanship with people's lives ( after all it is just the “Legal Game” ) - all to collect a paycheck.
The practice of law is supposed to be a noble profession, but it is certainly not one in our Collin County government, nor the outside law firms and attorneys they hire to defend themselves when exposed for wrongdoing.
The people involved remind me of the German people who once watched their German Jewish neighbors "disappear" from their neighborhoods. And then after the atrocities were exposed cried " We are honorable people - we had no idea what was going on".
The whole situation is sickening and deserves to be brightly illuminated for the public to see and finally understand.
We have outright criminals running rife within Collin County government and it’s agencies.
The DA, his ADA’s and his office are a sad, sick joke laughing imperiously in the face of the cause of Justice.
And for far, far too long people without backbones have knowingly “lived with” the situation while innocent people are smeared and ruined at the whim of the DA’s office.
Leaking a grand jury investigation into and about a candidate for DA stinks on ice. DA Roach should either be ashamed or investigating the leaks for possible prosecution.
I can't believe that the answer to the "inside games" is to prosecute anyone who dares discuss those "games".
The real issue, the one that the district Attorney's office has not addressed is, "Should a County Criminal Prosecutor pursue investigations against judges his office appears before, should it pursue investigations against candidates for District Attorney, or should the DA's office recuse itself and ask for outside, independent investigations and prosecutions, if warranted?"
No one, to my knowledge, has "leaked" any grand jury testimony. To call for prosecutions of those who discuss the fact that the investigations are underway is only to call for a perpetuation of the atmosphere of intimidation that has been so eloquently described here by several members of the local criminal bar.
You imply that the problem is that the investigations were "leaked". I really think that the problem is that the investigations are taking place - led by a politicized prosecutor's office..
As a tax payer, why are we wasting money on this. I wouldnt want to be called to jury duty on case where the guy admitted he was guilty and the State just wants to put on a show..what a waste of my time. Am I missing something here???
It's not Roach's job to hand-pick his successor (nor any other ADA's that are afraid of change and/or reform). It's right and privilege of the voters of Collin County to make that choice - and I, for one, stand with the majority... 14 mayors, 2 State Representatives, 4 elected constables + numerous other civic leaders and bar members. Greg's supporters are quite diverse, as he has gained great respect across the board for his fairness and integrity. I hope you will all join me in voting for Greg Willis for DA! http://www.gregwillis.org/
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